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Martin Landau— Page 29 

Patrick Stewart— Page 37 

Superboy— Page 53 



When Spock returned, David 
Cautreaux became part of 
"The Lost Generation" 


Blending fact & fiction, Gaston 
Leroux fascinated France 


Listen to melancholy melodies 
from the Phantom of the opera 


He hasn't forgotten how to act, 
but will Oscar remember him? 


British TV rocketed into the SF 
age with this legendary writer 


A man of "Enterprise" beams up 
from the planet called "Dune" 


Beyond Earth soared the 
Lensmen & the Skylark of Space 

Doc Smith— Page 45 







TV's Lois Lane reports further on 
"The Adventures of Superman" 


in Florida, they're painting a 
Kryptonian portrait of heroism 


He wanted Blake dead before 
the character killed his career 


it's open season on humans 
when the Predator prowls 


Fantasyland magicks begin 
with words on a page 

Gareth Thomas— Page 58 










Kirk's future birthplace 







At last: "Cherry 2000" 



Aliens! Stand up & fear! 

STARLOC is published monthly by O'QUINN STUDIOS, INC., 475 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10016. STARLOC is a registered trademark of o Quinn Studios, inc. 
(ISSN 0191-4626) This is issue Number 139, February 1989. Content is = Copyright 1989 by QUINN STUDIOS, INC. All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction in part 
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FEBRUARY 1989 #139 

Business and Editorial Offices: 

O'Quinn Studios, inc. 

475 Park Avenue South 

New York, NY 10016 



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A Quilt of Many Colors 

ach month, in this space, I try to open a new door and show you a new idea. 
I write about things not covered in the rest of STARLOG — things which relate 
to the science fiction universe, but which are outside its center. 

Once in a while, however, I write about something which is unrelated to science 
fiction. I do that because I believe that filling a mind only with arts and entertain- 
ment produces an unrealistic view of life — and because 'I believe that anyone who is 
truly concerned about the world of tomorrow must be aware of all components of 
that world. I believe that STARLOG can help you to become more sensitive to the 
full human experience. 

This month, I want to tell you of an unusual encounter I had — and although it has 
nothing to do with SF, it has much to do with the human experience. 

On October 8, 1988, my friend Scott O'Hara and I took the Metroliner from New 
York to Washington D.C. in order to spend the entire day walking the great lawn 
between the White House and the Washington Monument — looking down at the 
colorful panels of cloth, sewn into a gigantic quilt, laid on the grass and stretching 
larger than several football fields in all directions. 

This was The NAMES Project Quilt. Inspired by the American folk art traditions 
of quilting and sewing bees, this breathtaking display commemorates the tens of 
thousands who have died from AIDS. 

The Quilt was born from the vision of Cleve Jones, a young man who hoped to 
create something beautiful which would translate personal grief into a language the 
nation could understand. It was first displayed a year earlier as an attempt to show 
the horrendous size of the loss and to urge politicians to allocate funds for 
accelerating research toward treating the disease and finding a cure. 

Every minute counts! In the past year, more than 20,000 Americans have been 
ki'led by AIDS — 20,000 circles of friends and family members (and mates) were 
devastated by watching someone they love suffer from an arbitrary force of nature, 
beyond anyone's control, and then disappear forever. 

We are all aware of the facts (hopefully), but nothing you have read can equal the 
emotional impact of walking through the Quilt and examining the panels. 

Each panel is designed and handmade by those who wish to express publicly their 
love of a special someone who has died. Some panels are simply a unique rendering 
of the name, while others are amazingly elaborate — including photos, favorite pieces 
of clothing, theater programs, awards, newspaper clippings, jewelry, toys and love 
notes. Still others are abstract expressions of a personality, an attitude, a spirit. Many 
included stars, rainbows and other celestial symbols of aspiration and idealism. 

Some panels remember celebrities — such as Liberace, Rock Hudson and SF's 
talented designer Michael Minor. But, to me, the most moving were not those whose 
names we know, nor even those people I have known personally — but individuals I 
never heard of. I found myself, countless times, dissolving into tears because suddenly 
I felt the profound loss of a fellow human — someone I never met, and never 
will — someone whose soul I saw on the ground before me. 

"This isn't about grief," my friend Scott said. "This is about love — showing how 
much all kinds of people love each other and how important love is to everyone." 
He's right, I thought — I was standing amid a vast emotional outpouring of love. 

The Quilt is an awesome illustration of human diversity: a child who died before 
she learned how to read, with her favorite doll sewn to the panel by grieving 
parents — a young drag queen, deserted by his embarrassed family, with a feather boa 
and beads decorating his panel — an outstanding athlete, with his jersey preserved by a 
loving brother — a friendless immigrant, with expressions of love misspelled by family 
members — countless gay men, whose severed lives prevent our seeing the creative 
accomplishments hinted at by panels sparkling with potentials — a ballet dancer, a disc 
jockey, an artist, a biker, a girl who fought cancer bravely from childhood, through 
numerous operations, only to be struck down in her 20s by AIDS. 

Each panel was made — half thread, half tears — in homes across America by the 
friends, lovers and families of those memorialized. The message of the Quilt is, 
"Remember Their Names." 

I was overwhelmed by how much I felt in common with all these dear souls. No 
matter how alien another may appear at first — deep inside, that person wants to find 
happiness in an individual way, just as you do. We humans are fundamentally alike, 
but we have fun creating our uniqueness. What we create, some hate and some love. 

The diversity of humanity is the richness of life. 

Maybe this story isn't so unrelated to science fiction after all. 

— Kerry O'Quinn/ Publisher 

STARLOG/ February 1989 5 


Because of the large volume of mail 
we receive, personal replies are 
impossible. Other fans & advertisers 
sometimes contact readers whose let- 
ters are printed here. To avoid this, 
mark your letter "Please Withhold My 
Address." Otherwise, we retain the op- 
tion to print your address with your let- 
ter. Write: 

475 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor, 
New York, NY 10016. 


... I enjoy your magazine immensely, yet I must 
admit that my favorite part of STARLOG is not 
the fine articles or great color photos, but the let- 
ters to the editors. They show that despite the 
claims of others, not all science-fiction fans think 
alike. Nevertheless, I was still shocked when I 
read Lisa Garrett's pro-censorship letter in your 
May issue. 

Garrett apparently approves of the efforts of 
the MPAA in forcing Paul Verhoeven to edit 
RoboCop to avoid an X-rating. (You might as 
well say the MPAA edited the movie themselves 
as Lisa Garrett seems to claim since their X-rating 
is the kiss of death and requires changes.) She 
alleges to have seen a sneak preview with the 






Doors Open: 11:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. 

FEBRUARY 11 § 12, 1989 






"Mr. Spock" 














P.O. BOX 90, MILLWOOD, NY 10546 

violence uncut, which left her and others "with 
nausea, nightmares and disgust." Let me make a 
few observations. 

Many of my friends and I saw and enjoyed the 
edited version of RoboCop and none of us were 
disgusted. I don't suppose a little more violence 
would have given us nightmares either (though I 
do have a friend who wakes up screaming when 
he dreams that he's forced to see Terms of 
Endearment again). What does disgust us, 
though, is the repressive MPAA, which, in its 
mysterious and practically unappealable deci- 
sions, can force a director to alter his vision. I 
would prefer to see RoboCop the way Paul 
Verhoeven wanted me to see it, without any in- 
tervening censorship. 

While I recognize that the ratings system is a 
liberalization of the suffocating Production Code, 
which was strictly enforced from 1934 to 1968, I 
nevertheless consider it offensive. Not only do I 
oppose in principle such self-censorship (inciden- 
tally, the ratings system is imposed from 
within — equivalent government intervention 
would be unconstitutional), but also find it a 
failure in practice. 

If it were merely an informational service, I 
wouldn't oppose it as much, but it has the effect 
of cutting off the extremes. As seen above, a 
director who wishes to deal forthrightly with 
violence (or sex), no matter what the artistic talent 
or intentions involved, cannot afford an X-rating; 
such a director must either cut the film after the 
MPAA has seen it, or even worse, decide to tame 
the artistic vision while filming. R-rated films are 
also often toned down to receive a PG-rating. 
Ironically, a similar situation exists at the other 
end of the spectrum. No one dares make a 
G-rated film, lest it be thought too tame with all 
but the youngest filmgoers avoiding it. So, what 
does a director do, but throw in a little profanity, 
violence or sex to ensure the PG-rating. 

Lisa Garrett doesn't have to like RoboCop; she 
can find it heartless and cruel if she wisfies. But I 
am saddened that her experience with the film has 
made her favor censorship. She apparently would 
like a world where she is insulated from shock (at 
least in the cinema) while I can only see movies 
that she would consider acceptable. I realize that 
the MPAA isn't going to disappear, but I applaud 
director Verhoeven for trying to push the outside 
of the envelope a little. Might I suggest to Lisa 
Garrett that she avoid going to unrated sneak 
previews if she doesn't want her sensibilities of- 
fended (especially if the film is made by someone 
who directed a film like The Fourth Man.)"! 

Steven Kurtz 

Chicago, IL 


... I like to say that I enjoy the analysis features by 
Michael J. Wolff very much. Next to the TV 
season episode guides, I would say Wolff's features 
are Number Two in my Top 10 reasons for loving 

I hope to see more features by Wolff in future 
issues and I hope that he'll be analyzing "V, " Bat- 
tlestar Galactica, Space: 1999, UFO, Logan 's Run, 
Planet of the Apes (movies and TV series), Lost in 
Space, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom 
of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Star Trek: The Next 
Generation, the Star Trek II series (Oh, great job 
with that story in STARLOG #136), Captain 

Power and the Soldiers of the Future, War of the 
Worlds series, The Blob, The Thing, Earth vs. the 
Flying Saucers, Them, The Day the Earth Stood 
Still, Godzilla, Invaders from Mars. . . oh there are 
so many! The above suggestions would cover years! 
I also wish that STARLOG would begin doing the 
episode guides again, too. 

James B. Cash 

12302 Creekwood 

Cerritos, CA 90701 

Cheer up James, Michael J. Wolff tackled the Tex- 
minator in issue #136 and did lunch with the Blob 
in #137. His dissecting will continue as will episode 
guides. By the way, turn to page 65. 

Corrections: It 's Sam Francisco, of course — not 
San Francisco — who Mandy Patinkin plays in 
Alien Nation, though a blurb in STARLOG #136 
suggests otherwise. Also, the Terminator is 
copyright 1984 Orion Pictures, not courtesy (as 
noted in an erroneous photo credit in issue #136). 

In #136, an editorial addition erroneously sug- 
gested Jock Mahoney doubled for Robert Douglas 
in The Adventures of Don Juan. Mahoney doubled 
Errol Flynn. 

The WaroftheWorlds article in issue #13 7 / wice 
misspelled the name of the actor playing Ironhorse. 
It 's Richard Chaves — not Chavez. 

Lord Dread's photo was "flopped" (i.e. re- 
versed) for aesthetic reasons in designing #138's 
cover, thus inadvertently switching position of his 
machine eye. And John Larroquelte's name was 
misspelled once — as he knew it would be — in #138. 

We regret the errors. 

... It has been 10 years since I subscribed to 
STARLOG. Reading it since then has only been 
an occasional luxury. 

However, I picked up issue #132 the other day, 
and found the contents interesting: Willow — my 
wife and I had enjoyed it; Dr. Science — excellent 
show; Next Generation FX — let's see why they 
look so cheap... but wait, what's this? Eddie 
Paskeyl You're kidding! Well, that was the clin- 
cher. A minute later, I was four bucks poorer. 

Yes, guys, Eddie Paskey is no stranger to me, a 
12-plus year Trekker. Your article brought back 
decade-old memories of my cousin Jim and I 
seeking out the ubiquitous security guards, 
Paskey and the equally visible David L. Ross (Mr. 
Galloway, and later, after death in "Omega 
Glory," Johnson). What fan can forget Paskey's 
rare and enviable opportunity for insubordination 
to Captain Kirk in "This Side of Paradise"? 

You can have Eddie Murphy and Arnold 
Scwarzenegger. Eddie Paskey is the kind of 
celebrity I would rather run into on the street. 
He's a guy I could buy a beer and shoot the breeze 
with. Thanks to Kathleen Gooch and STARLOG 
for giving us the next best thing. 

Scott R. Brooks 

... I felt it necessary to respond to letters which 
were printed in STARLOG #129 under the 
heading "No Thanks, I've Got One." Someone 
should defend William Shatner — and since 
Samuel Cogley from "Court Martial" won't be 
available for about 300 years — we fans are 

To believe that William Shatner would destroy 
the quality we have come to expect from the Star 
Trek films is, as McCoy might say, 

6 STARLOG /February 1989 

Denise Chonka's concerns for Shatner's "at- 
titudes" as "voiced" on Saturday Night Live are, 
to say the least, misplaced. SNL is a satirical com- 
edy show with the emphasis on satire. Shatner 
even prefaced the convention sketch by saying he 
hoped the fans had "a sense of humor," or he 
would be, "in big trouble!" 

John Hall's worries about Shatner's intention 
to use the "stylistic touches" of T.J. Hooker, are 
also unfounded. How quickly he forgets that the 
original Star Trek was famous for well- 
choreographed fight scenes as far back as "The 
Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before." 
More recently, Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek III 
featured a climactic battle between Kirk and 
Kruge. The Next Generation episode, 
"Datalore," also contained such a combat scene. 

William Shatner once said that in Star Trek, 
"... stories could be told of significance and yet 
be entertaining. I think a contribution of that kind 
of entertainment is very rare today." 

"Significant" yet "entertaining" stories. Isn't 
that what Star Trek is all about? Isn't that what 
Shatner was realty saying in the interview with 

William Shatner, like his fellow cast members, 
believes in the integrity of Star Trek and its 
characters. Some of the finest performances he 
has given in his career have been as James 
Tiberius Kirk. He would no more destroy Star 
Trek's integrity than Kirk would destroy his ship 
on a whim. To believe otherwise is a disservice to 
a very fine actor. 

Neal R. Shapiro 

Rushing, NY 

. . .1 thoroughly enjoyed Bill Warren's interview 
with Keye Luke in STARLOG #130. Although 
detective films seem beyond the focus of your 
magazine, 1 appreciated the extended discussion 
of Warner Oland and the Charlie Chan films. As 
a life-long Chan fan (I should emphasize that I am 
an "Olander" not a "Tolerite"), I am pleased to 
tell you that Oland was no slouch when it came to 
fantasy /SF, having starred in three Dr. Fu Man- 
chu films and the Werewolf of London. 

Anticipating the videocassette release of the 
Chan series, you may wish to consider a follow-up 
interview with Luke concerning the greatest of all 
riddles in the Charlie Chan canon, namely "The 
Mystery of Warner Oland." Every true Chan afi- 
cionado has observed that Oland suffered a mark- 
ed decline in his last two films: first noticeable in 
his penultimate film, Charlie Chan on Broadway, 
then distressingly apparent in his last, Charlie 
Chan at Monte Carlo. Oland seemed withdrawn, 
distracted and out of step with the action around 
him. What was going on? 

Contemporary newspaper accounts of the day, 
especially those published in the Los Angeles 
Times, provide some clues. According to the LA 
Times, Oland was divorced in mid-1937 by his 
wife of 30 years. This event coincides with the 
making of his last two films. He reported for 
work in January 1938 to make Charlie Chan at 
the Ringside, the film which became Mr. Moto's 
Gamble. However, he strolled off the set saying 
that he was "going to get a drink of water." He 
never returned. 

Thereafter, he was sighted in various locations, 
often wandering aimlessly uncertain of where he 

was or who he was. He reportedly chased some 
citizens of Yuma, Arizona down the street in his 
bare feet when they angered him by peering inside 
his car. 

Suspended by 20th Century Fox and claiming a 
nervous breakdown, he boarded a freighter in 
April 1938 and returned to his native Sweden to 
stay with friends. On August 5, his estranged wife 
received a telegram stating that Oland was gravely 
ill with bronchial pneumonia and instructing her 
to come to Sweden at once. Oland died the next 

Oland was expected to return to Hollywood in 
September, presumably to film Charlie Chan in 
Honolulu, which became the first of the Sidney 
Toler series. The big mystery for Chan devotees is 
whether making seven consecutive Chan films 

STARLOG/Februarv 1989 1 

drove Warner Oland to mental distraction, or 
whether it was the one bright spot in a life gone in- 
to irretrievable disarray. As an eyewitness to some 
of these events, Keye Luke may know more than 
he's telling. Or perhaps nobody has asked him. 

If release dates can be trusted, then Charlie 
Chan in Paris (January 1935), scripted by Phil 
MacDonald, was Keye Luke's debut as Lee Chan. 
Charlie Chan in Shanghai (October 1935) was not 
written by MacDonald and is apparently Luke's 
second Chan film. Incidentally, Oland and Luke 
made one non-Chan film, 1935 's Shanghai, but I 
don't know if they shared any scenes together. 

Robert M. Fells 

15311 Tonys Place 

Chantilly, VA 22021 

... I loved Marc Shapiro's interview with Rick 
Overton and Kevin Pollak (issue #134)! They're 
a couple of very strange guys. By the way, could 
you have an article on Michael Whelan, the guy 
who did the covers for such books as Alan Dean 
Foster's Nor Crystal Tears and C.J. Cherryh's 
Cuckoo's Egg? I love his work! 

Tara Murphy 

48 Wadland Crescent 

St. John's, Newfoundland 

A1A2J6 Canada 


... As a fellow Green Hornet fan, I would like to 
thank your magazine and Will Murray for the 
fascinating interview with Van Williams and the 
Fan Network article on the fate of the Black 
Beauty (STARLOG #135). 

Murray's interview with Williams was a labor 
of love and was shown in every paragraph. As his 
knowledge of the Hornet is so great, why doesn't 
he write a comprehensive book on the Hornet? 

He mentioned the second Hornet serial, The 
Green Hornet Strikes Again, in his article. Has it 
ever merged on videocassette like the- first serial? 
This would be the missing piece to many a Hornet 
fan's video library. 


1 Missing copies? Moving? Renewals? Re 

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My only complaint with your magazine is that 
in the past, STARLOG has featured retrospec- 
tives on many genre series, but why wasn't there 
an episode guide and an accompanying retrospec- 
tive on the Hornet series? 

Fellow Hornet fans, I would like to hear from 
you, where we can compare info, fan stories, etc. 
With enough support, perhaps we'll get the 
Hornet back on TV or the big screen again. 

Doug Kelly 

10203 A Lakefront Court 

Tampa, FL 33612 

. . . Thanks so much for Tom Soter's incisive article 
on The Prisoner TV show in STARLOG #135. I 
was, and still am, a big fan of that series. When it 
appeared on American television for the first time, 
it seemed so fresh, new and different. It was unlike 
anything else on TV at that time. 

Recently, a local PBS channel began to air The 
Prisoner again. What joy. The show was still as 
provocative, interesting and unique as when I first 
saw it. There is truly no other TV program to com- 
pare it with. 

Yet, even though I really enjoyed the show, I do 
not advocate the making of a sequel, a mini-series 
or a new version of any kind. I believe that the 
series was complete in its original incarnation. The 
17 episodes that were filmed told enough of the 
story to merit its completion. I say, leave it be. 

Patrick McGoohan makes an excellent point in 
the article. It pertains to the way I feel about music, 
film, theater or most any art form. He states that 
each person should view a creative piece and have a 
different or personal interpretation of what that 
work is supposed to be about. He sums it up by 
saying, "That's the intention: to be left hanging 
somewhat." That's why I would most likely ignore 
a sequel, a new series, or even the comic series (and 
I'm an avid comic-book collector). I have my own 
interpretation of the series. Half the fun of watch- 
ing the episodes repeatedly is to debate these 
unanswered queries and to keep my mind thinking. 

Lon Wolf 

2118 Ryan's Run East 

Maple Shade, NJ 08052 

... I liked The Prisoner immensely, but I haven't 
actively searched out everything published about 
it as I'm sure certain rabid fans have done. Still, I 
thought I would come across more magazine and 
newspaper articles than I have until quite recently, 
given the show's cult popularity. So, it's not sur- 
prising that nearly every sentence in Tom Soter's 

"Uncaging the Prisoner" in STARLOG #135 
comes as a revelation. For instance, the regret- 
table Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein 
squabble over control is new to me, although 
upon reflection a tension between the action/ad- 
venture elements preferred by the writer and the 
Kafkaesque surrealism favored by the actor is evi- 
dent in the majority of the episodes. Personally, a 
balance of rationalism and illogic, as odd as that 
may seem, had the most appeal to me. Too much 
one way and it was just another spy romp, and 
too much the other way and it was a hopeless 
muddle. "Fall Out" was a disappointment; 
deliberate bafflement and enigmatic plotting by 
McGoohan, after Markstein had departed, 
amounted to an embarrassing attempt at 
"allegory," and in the extremely short time the 
whole thing was put together, it's understandable. 
McGoohan's comments weren't elucidating, in- 
stead implying that he had only a vague idea of 
what The Prisoner was about. It's remarkable, 
however, that interest in the show after all these 
years has been maintained, and STARLOG can 
take pride in being a part of it. I think eventually 
The Prisoner will prove to be a case of the crea- 
tion being smarter than its creators. 

Al Christensen 

Tacoma, WA 


. . . How can anybody be critical of Sylvester Mc- 
Coy's portrayal of Doctor Who (STARLOG 
#134), particularly since he has only been on one 
season? Like anyone else who has played the Doc- 
tor since Patrick Troughton took over for 
William Hartness in 1966, Sylvester needs to 
stretch his wings. John Nathan-Turner cannot be 
entirely at fault either — if he were, he wouldn't 
have lasted as the show's producer as long as he 
has (eight years — longer than any other 

Also, according to a Doctor Who Magazine 
(June 1988) poll on the 24th season, Sylvester Mc- 
Coy, despite one season under his belt, tied for 
third place (with Peter Davison) as the fans' 
Favorite Doctor (each had 84 votes — had each 
had one more vote, they would've been tied with 
Jon Pertwee for second. First place, I need not 
mention who has that). Not bad for a beginner. 
Also, he seems to improve with each episode (for 
Favorite Episode — "Time and the Rani," 95 
votes; "Paradise Towers", 100; "Delta and the 
Bannermen", 144; and "Dragonfire", 258). Give 
him a chance please. If nothing else, this man will 
be remembered as the Doctor who led TV's 
longest running SF series into its silver jubilee 
year, which will send a departing JN-T out in a 
blaze of glory. 

Ann Mcintosh 

4615 N. Braeswood #212D 

Houston, TX 77096 

... I must say that Sylvester McCoy is fantastic as 
the Doctor. I watch reruns on PBS, and to me 
there will never be anyone who will be able to 
replace Tom Baker. But I have seen a few new 
episodes and they are fantastic. Sylvester McCoy, 
congratulations on a fabulous job. 

I am enclosing my address, so if anyone wants 
to be a pen pal, I am a fan of Starman, Star Trek, 
and several others. I worship Harlan Ellison. I'm 
an open-minded non-conformist. 

Glenda D. McGrath 

501 Hudson Drive 

Labrador City, Newfoundland 

A2V 1L8 Canada 

8 STARLOG/February 1989 

•.C£ 0\ VESA'S P'CAZZ vVAS 0£I>EI?Ep 
TT3 BAS-vS. T- -T7*£ ocrs^« *JO OP THE OC'O- 
/ aa* A^SASSAPOR -r-«s TuS-r MI&HT 
P_A,*v ATX/ PrCAX? To TW16 £>AV "EE^^ 

:;VP3R'A8^E A^S<_-V^ K-DS 

. . . Several issues ago, your magazine reported 
briefly that a revival of the '60s series, The Outer 
Limits, was being planned. However, no mention 
has been made in subsequent issues concerning 
the revival's status. 

Please bring your readers up to date on this 
project. Considering the recent success of popular 
series revivals, I am sure a continuation of this 
outstanding series would be well received. 

Victor C. Westbrook 

2800 West T.C. Jester No. 5 

Houston, TX 77018 

There is nothing new on The Outer Limits revival. 

. . . This summer, 1 began watching a new show 
called Probe, but 1 haven't heard or read anything 
about it. The show was created by Isaac Asimov, 
so 1 thought that STARLOG would mention it, 
but you haven't yet. Probe, which stars Parker 
Stevenson and Ashley Crow, is another program 
which I feel is not getting enough publicity. Like 
Starman, I fear that Probe will face a premature 
death. I know that Probe is quite a hit among my 
friends and there must be more hidden fans on 
both sides of the border. 

Tanya Chang 

32 Aleutian Road 

Nepean, Ontario 

K2H 7C8 Canada 

After a brief network run, Probe has been cancell- 
ed. Its existence was reported in STARLOG. 

... I went to a theater in York Beach, Maine and 
saw Big, and something is wrong here. I read your 
article in STARLOG #134, and it said that Josh 
(Tom Hanks) was 12 years old when he became a 
35-year-old man. But in the movie, he was 13 
years old when he became a 35-year-old man. I 
would like to know what's going on. Whose 
mistake was this, anyway? 

Michael Radochia 

Address Withheld 

Initial press releases reported otherwise, hence the 
difference in age. 

. . . PALEEESE! Something is Out There is going 
to be a weekly series? It will suffer the same fate 
as V and Otherworld. When are producers going 
to realize that we want quality science fiction, not 
flashy cars and special effects? Shots of Maryam 
d'Abo undressing are no substitute for quality 
scripts and solid performances. Shows like this 
give science fiction, and science fiction fans, bad 
names. Shows like Star Trek: The Next Genera- 
tion and Beauty & the Beast are decent because 
they focus on intelligent themes and plots. I mean, 
if this alien creature (in Something) wiped out an 
entire space vessel with super-technology, the 
odds are astronomical that two people with a 
rinky-dink stun gun will keep it in a city sewer. 
Please support quality SF. Mark my words: 
Something is Out There will be lucky if it survives 
even one season. 

C. Underwood 

Address Unknown 

. . .1 recently read in STARLOG #134 about the 
upcoming movie Moontrap. I was wondering, is it 
possible for me to obtain the sets of the space 
shuttle used in that movie? I love studying the 
space shuttle, and would dearly love to have even 
a movie set of the shuttle. Please send any infor- 
mation that you have on this to: 

Sean Maguire 

535 Stone Creek Place 

Walla Walla, WA 99362 

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Time after time, they've cast interesting 
actors in new ventures in the world of 
Star Trek. And this time, they've 
chosen. . .Jack the Ripper. 

Well, not really Jack the Ripper, but an 
actor best known for having played that 
legendary bad guy — in Time After Time, 
written and directed by Star Trek IPs 
Nicholas Meyer. This Star Trek V actor is 
David Warner, a familiar face to SF fans. 
He's in The Omen (the photographer who 
gets spectacularly killed by a plate of glass), 
TRON (as Sark), Time Bandits (as Evil), 
The Company of Wolves (the concerned 
father), The Man with Two Brains (a mad 
scientist) and most recently, Waxwork (the 
wax museum's owner). Warner — profiled in 
STARLOG #64— also appeared in the 
Holocaust mini-series (as a Nazi, of course). 

Laurence {The Delphi Bureau) Luckinbill 
has also joined the cast of Star Trek V. He'll 
portray a character of Vulcan persuasion. 

Behind-the-scenes personnel include 
editor Peter (Fatal Attraction) Berger and 
director of photography Andrew Laszlo. 
The biggest surprise, however, is just who's 
doing the special FX. It isn't Industrial 
Light & Magic, which provided the visuals 

for Star Trek II, III and IV. This time, the£ 
job goes to Associates & Ferren, the East | 
Coast FX facility headed by Bran Ferren, s 
which is noted for FX work on The | 
Manhattan Project, Little Shop of Hdrrors* 
and A Itered States. 5 

Character Castings: Gates McFadden, 
late of The Next Generation, joined ABC's 
All My Children last fall. She plays marriage 
counselor Lisa Mahoney. 

Blade Runner's Sean Young dropped out i. 
of the Batman cast shortly before filming { 
began. Young apparently suffered an injury 
in a fall from a horse. Kim Bas- 
inger — known for her work in Never Say _ 
Never Again, My Stepmother is an Alien 
and 9 'A Weeks — replaced Young in the role 
of Vicki Vale, journalist and love interest. 

Serving up the meals and polishing the 
silver at Wayne Manor is a task that falls to 
another familiar actor: Michael Gough. 
He's a British veteran of countless horror 
films including: Horror of Dracula, Horrors 
of the Black Museum, Black Zoo, Dr. Ter- 
ror's House of Horrors and Konga. (By the 
way, look for an upcoming interview with 
Gough in FANGORIA). Gough, of course, 
plays Alfred, butler and confidant. 

As Jack the Ripper, David Warner 
terrorized the world Time After Time. 
Now, he joins the cast of Star Trek V. 

Sean Connery and Harrison Ford are 
father and son in Indiana Jones & the Last 
Crusade. Some other specifics: Allison (A 
View to a Kill) Doody plays Dr. Elsa 
Schneider. Julian (For Your Eyes Only) 
Glover's character name is Walter 
Donovan, an industrialist. Michael (The 
Long Good Friday) Byrne's also in the cast. 
He's a villainous S.S. officer named Vogel. 

Animation: Phil Nibbelink, the young ar- 
tist known to experts as today's quintessen- 
tial Disney animator, is no longer working 
for that studio. Nibbelink left shortly after 
completing his duties on Who Framed 
Roger Rabbit. His new job brings him back 
to the Steven Spielberg stable, directing An 
American Tail 2, the first solo animated 
production from Amblin Entertainment. 
Animator Don Bluth (STARLOG #114) 
headed the previous pair of Amblin full- 
length cartoons, An American Tail and The 
Land Before Time. Bluth is no longer in- 
volved with Amblin projects. 

After airing only a handful of episodes, 
ABC cancelled the revived Beany & Cecil 
produced by DIC & Bob Clampett Produc- 
tions (COMICS SCENE #5). "Creative dif- 
ferences," an oft-used vague explanation in 
Hollywood, were noted as the culprit. 

Work continues on Disney's sequel The 
Rescuers Down Under, so appropriately, the 
studio is re-releasing The Rescuers this 

Updates: Does Easter sound like a good 
time for a vampire movie? New Century 
Vista must think so since they rescheduled 
release of Fright Night II to then. 

(continued on page 43) 

Like father, like son? Meet those 
adventurous archeologists Dr. Henry Jones 
(Sean Connery, right) and his son Indiana 
(Harrison Ford). 


It's 6:31 p.m. Welcome to The Twilight 
Zone," intoned a Hollywood Chamber 
of Commerce spokesman during ceremonies 
that presented the late Twilight Zone creator 
Rod Serling with a star on Hollywood 
Boulevard's Walk of Fame. 

The presentation, held October 6, was at- 
tended by Serling's widow Carol and a 
number of celebrities associated with Serling 
during his Twilight Zone years. Among 
those on hand were actors Earl Holliman 
(who appeared in the original Twilight Zone 
pilot, "Where Is Everybody?"), Robert 
Cummings ("King Nine Will Not 
Respond"), Burgess Meredith ("Time 
Enough at Last" among others) and Jack 
Klugman ("A Passage for Trumpet" and 
more) who, during a brief eulogy, described 
Serling as an "actor's writer." 

"There are hundreds of actors who found 
dignity and substance in Rod's work," said 
Klugman. "He brought good actors and 
good words together and the result was 
always a happy marriage. An actor could 
always count on being made to look sensa- 
tional when he did Rod Serling's work." 

Carol Serling offered that television was 
"good to Rod. He was not above biting the 
hand that fed him," she noted, "but that 
was because he felt that television could 

become a legitimate art form rather than 
just be chewing gum for the eyes." 

Rod Serling was born in Syracuse, New 
York in 1924. After a stint in the military, he 
attended Antioch College. In the ensuing 
years, Serling wrote regularly for the stage 
and television. His early credits included 
Velvet Alley and Requiem for a 
Heavyweight for the stage and "Dark Side 
of the Earth" for the renowned television 
anthology series entitled Playhouse 90. 

The original Twilight Zone ran from 1959 
to 1964 and has since enjoyed a new life 
along with its current incarnation 
(STARLOG #136) in syndication. Serling 
returned to fantastic visions in 1967 with 

several drafts of Planet of the Apes and 
brought the short-lived Night Gallery to TV 
screens in 1969. He died in 1975. 

Over the years, Serling wrote more than 
500 produced scripts. He was the recipient 
of numerous honors, including the 
prestigious Peabody award, and won a total 
of six Emmys for his television work. His 
never-produced story outline, "Our Celina 
is Dying," has been brought to script form 
by J. Michael Straczynski and will air as part 
of the new Twilight Zone. 

Rod Serling's star is located in a land of 
shadow and substance — at 6840 Hollywood 

—Marc Shapiro 

Send Orders to: Starland, PO Box 24937, Denver, 
CO. 80224 Credit Card Orders call: 303-671 -8735 

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Two New Next Generation posters! 
A. $4.95 PPD B. $9.95 PPD 

Casualty of 


When the "Enterprise" 

finally set sail again, 

David Gautreaux and 

his Vulcan persona xon 

were left behind 

in Spacedock. 

So profound is the impact of Star 
Trek that it has forever altered the 
careers of those actors who played 
the original Enterprise crew. In fact, the im- 
pression they made has been so strong that 
for years it was commonly believed that Star 
Trek couldn't go on without them, hence 
the initial trepidation greeting the announce- 
ment of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

The Next Generation emerged as a ratings 
success, forever ending doubts about a new 
cast. But a similar test almost happened 
more than a decade ago with the proposed 
syndicated TV series, Star Trek II, dubbed 
"The Lost Generation" (STARLOG #136). 
The entire original cast had been signed to 
reprise their roles with the exception of 
Leonard Nimoy, who didn't wish to return 
as Spock. Undaunted, series creator Gene 
Roddenberry developed three new 
characters, one designed as Spock's replace- 
ment. His name was Xon, and he would 
have served as Enterprise Science Officer 
under Captain Kirk, adding a fresh twist to 
the stories as a Vulcan attempting to 
discover and understand human emotions 
rather than deny them. Every Star Trek II 
script featured the character, so it was ob- 
vious that he would play an integral role in 
the development of the new series. 

correspondent, profiled producer Frank 
Marshall in issue #137. 

Signed to portray Xon, actor David 
Gautreaux was a member of the Star Trek 
company for more than a year-and-a-half. 
Plans still called for him to play the role 
when the TV series metamorphosized into 
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but he asked 
to be released from his contract when 
Nimoy was signed to encore as Spock. 

"I was doing a play at the time," recalls 
Gautreaux, "trying not to think that I was 
going to be playing an alien for the rest of 
my life. Then, I spoke to Gene Roddenberry 
and said, 'What's the story? Did you see 
that Leonard Nimoy is coming back to play 
his character? What's going to happen to 
Xon?' He said, 'Oh, Xon is very much a 
part of the family and you're very much a 
part of our family.' I responded, 'Gene, 
don't allow a character of this magnitude to 
simply carry Mr. Spock's suitcases on board 
the ship and then say, "I'll be in my quarters 
if anyone needs me." Give him what I've 
put into him and what you've put into him. 
If he's not going to be more a part of it and 
more noble than that, let's eliminate him.' 
They continued with the idea of Xon right 
up to September 1978." 

Signing Aboard 

Gautreaux's involvement began a year 
earlier when he tested for the role with hun- 
dreds of others and landed the part. His 
casting occurred several months after pre- 
production on Star Trek II had begun, thus 

scripts for the series had been written and 
preparations made for the two-hour 
premiere, "In Thy Image." 

"I remember walking on the soundstage, 
and they had, of course, rebuilt the Enter- 
prise," he explains, "and I couldn't get over 
how everything was 3 /i-inch plywood. They 
intended this baby to fly for about seven 
years, which is different from a movie set 
designed for the moment. 

"The day that I was actually cast and ar- 
rived at the studio, they announced that they 
were not making the pilot, that they were ac- 
tually making a feature film. The series was 
put on hold. We had to go through a lot of 
renegotiation of contracts with the actors on 
pay-or-play. If they hire you to do 
something and they don't do it, they must 
still pay you. So, we all had to be paid for 
the pilot, which was never shot, and rehired 
to do the feature. 

"I had been placed on some kind of five- 
or six-year TV series contract, so when 1 re- 
signed, I had to negotiate another television 
contract. Their plans were to do the feature 
and then go ahead with the series itself." 

Upon being named as Star Trek's newest 
Vulcan, Gautreaux (pronounced 
"Go-troh") felt that there were two things 
that needed to be done. The first was that 
Paramount downplay his signing with a 
minimum of publicity. The second was that 
he purchase a TV set to learn what the Star 
Trek phenomenon was about. 

12 STAKLOG/February 1989 

"When I was first cast as Xon," 
Gautreaux reflects, "a fair amount of the 
fans reacted very strangely. Somebody 
recently told me that actors in soap operas 
place themselves in serious jeopardy if [in 
the show] they antagonize the fans' favorite 
character. They, the actors on the street, can 
become the object of the fans' wrath. That 
does happen in this business. When Star 
Trek II was announced and I was essentially 
announced as the replacement for Spock, I 
received some really strange letters from 
people saying, 'Don't drink the water,' or 
somebody was going to drop LSD in my 
Coca-Cola. It was like poison pen letters 
because Spock was God to these people. 

"As a result," he adds, "I told the 
publicity team at Paramount, 'This is not 
about my being afraid, but I think it's really 
wise that we keep me completely hidden 
from all the pre-publicity. I don 't want to go 
to cons, I don't want to be appearing in 
magazines. Let the movie come out, and let 
everything swing for itself.' 

"I was never a fan. I never watched the 
show. I bought a television two weeks after I 
was actually signed for the role, because I 
was given an advance large enough to ac- 
tually do something like that. I was a hard- 
working-but-not-making-much-money kind 
of actor. I just thought I had better start 
watching the series and catching up with this 
incredible history. Much of the time, I 
would watch the show and say, 'I don't get 
it,' not thinking of what it would have look- 
ed like if I had seen it in '67 or '68, and com- 
pared it to the television of the time. Star 
Trek was so revolutionary, but to be looking 
at it in 1978, I didn't think that much of it, 
although it did carry a large philosophical 
leap of faith that was wonderful." 

Studying the original episodes, Gautreaux 
developed a firm grasp of what ingredients 
make a proper Vulcan and began intensive 
preparations for the role, attempting to 
make Xon the quintessential representative 
of that race One of his greatest motivations 
was the initial description of the character in 
Harold Livingston's first draft screenplay of 
"In Thy Image," where the Vulcan, smell- 
ing rather strongly, has just beamed aboard 
from a meditative monastery in the Gobi 

"I actually went off on a meditative trek 
and fasted for 10 days," Gautreaux says. "I 
allowed my hair to grow long. I started 
researching to be a Vulcan with no emotion. 
For an actor, that's death. I was looking at 
it from an actor's point-of-view, which is 
how do you appear as having no emotion 
without looking like a piece of wood? That 
was my objective, and I went to several 
coaches. Jeff ["The Cloud Minders"] Corey 
is the one who gave me the key of how I 
could actively play the purest pursuit of 
logic as being my primary action. Then, I 
felt I needed a physical equivalent. I follow- 
ed the teachings of Bruce Lee, who taught 
about dealing with emotions and a freedom 
from emotions that allowed you to live in a 
nonviolent world. That's really what Bruce 
Lee was all about, despite the impression his 
films gave. 

"I was looking forward to playing Xon," says Gautreaux, but rather than let his 
character become a second-class Vulcan, the actor settled for the role of Commander 
Branch in ST:TMP. 

"His methods, his training and his 
students existed in a nonviolent life. The 
way to do that was to not let anything 
'stick.' If somebody hits you, it doesn't 
stick, it just flies through you. So, with a 
Vulcan dealing with 'lame brain' human 
beings ... if they said something that was 
particularly stupid or, in the case of Dr. Mc- 
Coy, particularly antagonistic, because of 
the training I had gone through, it would 
not attach itself. The idea is that a Vulcan is 
pursuing something much larger than what's 
around him at that moment. 

"In all honesty," he says sincerely, "I was 
looking forward to playing Xon." 

Vulcan Overboard 

Despite rehearsals and costume fittings, 
the Star Trek II project, which had now 
become a motion picture, was plagued by a 
series of "never-ending" delays. Initial plans 
called for production to begin in January 
1978, then April and, finally, June. By then, 
Robert Wise (STARLOG #30) had been 
signed as director, a fact which, according to 
the actor, coincided with Gene Rod- 
denberry's withdrawal (to some degree) 
from the project. 

"This is supposition on my part, but I 
don't think Gene liked the direction that 

Paramount was taking the feature," 
Gautreaux opines, "and I don't think he 
was happy with the choice of director. 
Robert Wise is a very powerful man in 
Hollywood. He's a five-time Academy 
Award-winning director. He's a man of 
great esteem and if I was him when I arrived 
on a set, I would instantly remove anybody 
who had a different point-of-view. 

"When you're that powerful a director, 
you can walk on the set and say, 'There is no 
producer, there is no more executive pro- 
ducer. The writer has done his work. 
Everyone else, go home. This is my picture.' 
That's the way it is in Hollywood. Wise had 
certainly risen to that level, and I'm sure if 
there were interferences, it was the usual 
power struggle that goes on between two 
powerful men: someone who has developed 
a concept and the other person who is hired 
to shoot it. I think Paramount thought they 
needed a wise and elderly hand to wrestle 
this project, and they ended up wrestling it 
right to the ground. In my eyes, it never 
took off. It made tons of money, which is 
wonderful and surprising compared to the 
energy of the other films." 

According to Gautreaux, and there is not 
a trace of bitterness in his voice, Wise was 
instrumental in getting Leonard Nimoy to 

CTA DT t~\r*. / T7fiU* 

moo 11 

"I was never a fan," admits Gautreaux— and 
role at the time weren't fond of him, either. 

return as Spock. Al the time, Nimoy had 
been involved in a lawsuit against Para- 
mount re: merchandising. It was quickly 

"When Leonard saw the carrot being 
dangled out in front of him, and this is what 
he admitted to me himself," says the actor, 
"when they had recast the role, he felt much 
more aggressive about settling the lawsuit 
and getting back into it himself. 

"Leonard and I had a meeting once when 
he called and asked me to come down to 
Paramount. I thought it was because of Star 
Trek III. He had many roles to cast, and he 
wanted to meet with me. We had a nice long 
conversation, which is on videotape because 
he recorded all of his conversations; it helps 
him remember actors. We chit-chatted for a 
good period of time, and then he came in 
with what I call the slider, which was, 'How 
did you feel... how did it affect 

the "Trekkies" who became aware of his 

you . . . essentially, what did it do to your life 
when I came back and played Mr. Spock, 
thus removing your character?' I looked at 
him and was wondering if he was trying to 
purge himself of something he had felt all 
this time. I asked him what he meant by 
that, and he said, 'Well, you were a young 
man and this was a very big moment in your 
life. Did I remove that moment?' I looked at 
him, with a thousand thoughts running 
through my head. My response was, 'Look, 
I was young, but I wasn't brand new. I had 
been in this business, primarily in the 
theater, for a good long time. For me, Xon 
and Star Trek were like a play that opened 
and closed on opening night, which happens 
all the time in theater. I had, and continue to 
have, another life outside whatever Xon was 
or was not to be.' He said, 'That's very 
good. I was hoping you would say 
something like that.' I had no idea that he 

had put that much investment and thought 
into the belief that he had upset my life." 

Swept Away 

Gautreaux, though, requested that Xon 
be eliminated rather than diminished, and 
eventually played the Epsilon 9 space sta- 
tion's Commander Branch in two scenes of 
Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Apart from 
that, he left the saga behind him, but has 
managed to retain the most positive aspects 
of Xon and his preparations for the role. 

"1 have found ways to put that training to 
use," he says. "I was an avid bowler at the 
time, and a pretty consistent 160-170 kind of 
bowler. Using the principles of an actor 
working to become a Vulcan increased my 
bowling to a consistent 220. The primary 
goal of a Vulcan is to always be removing 
his energy away from himself and onto the 
task, which is either the pursuit of logic or 
the need of the other person for what you 
have to give them. So, you're constantly 
removing the energy from yourself, thus 
freeing yourself from obstacles. This is what 
I learned from fasting. 

"When we remove three meals a day, plus 
snacking, get past the third or fourth day, 
which is the real hump stage, the next 10 
days are gravy. You can go on forever as 
long as you have some water and some 
freshly squeezed juices for necessary pro- 
teins now and again. But you are so clear. 
You ask for something, and you know ex- 
actly what you're asking for. What you find 
is that human beings aren't very good at 
dealing with straightforward requests. They 
always want to know about the grey area 
and the pink area; they don't want to just 
give you the black and white. That's what 
makes life very silly and full of jokes, and 
why things don't get done as well. Vulcans 
are like Zen and the Art of Archery. There's 
no such thing as a target, there's no such 
thing as an arrow, and there's no such thing 
as a bow. Everything is all one integral mo- 
tion and there's no such thing as hitting the 
target or not hitting the target, because the 
bow, the arrow and the target are all one. 

"In bowling, you remove at least 50 per- 
cent of the effort, which is to do things cor- 
rectly, and concentrate on the game itself. 
That kind of concentration can be done on 
anything you do. I use it all the time." 

A working actor, Gautreaux has ap- 
peared in such films as Falling in Love and 
The Hearse and such TV series as T.J. 
Hooker, Crazy Like a Fox, Airwolf and The 
Fall Guy. He does a great amount of 

David Gautreaux does want to make sure 
he emphasizes the positive influence that 
Xon has had on his life. 

"I have never personally felt badly, upset 
or any of those things for not playing Xon," 
he says. "I've always felt that it was too bad 
the public didn't get the chance to see this 
character, given the preparation I had given 
to it. But insofar as how it enhanced my 
own life, they paid me back a hundredfold. 
Xon took me from a state of physical to a 
state of metaphysical, which is something 
that I've never lost." <& 

14 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 

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Jillian: "Don't tell me. You're from outer 


Kirk: "No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in 

outer space." 

— Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 

The rolling green farmlands of Iowa are 
interspersed with hundreds of small 
towns. Many of these communities proudly 
announce that they are the birthplace of a 
famous person: Herbert Hoover, Buffalo 
Bill Cody, John Wayne, Johnny Carson, 
Donna Reed, James T. Kirk . . . James T. 
Kirklll Many tourists are taken aback by 
the sign outside tiny Riverside, Iowa, 
population: 826, which announces that this 
community is the future birthplace of Cap- 
tain Kirk of the starship Enterprise. 

But Riverside's dedication to the Star 
Trek series goes beyond a mere billboard. 
The City Council of this southeastern Iowa 
town has officially proclaimed Riverside as 
James T. Kirk's future birthplace, and the 
Mayor has designated his birthday on 
March 26 as a special holiday. And, on the 
last Saturday of June each year, the entire 
populace celebrates the imaginary local 
hero's birth with "Trek Fest" — more than 
two centuries before it happens. 

How did City Hall come to officially 
adopt a fictional event of the future as the 
city's municipal identity? The idea 
originated with Steve Miller, a Riverside Ci- 
ty Council member who is also an avid Star 
Trek follower. 

When Riverside's town fathers were look- 
ing for a theme for their annual town 
celebration in March 1985, Miller seized the 
opportunity. "I had read in Gene Rod- 
denberry's Making of Star Trek that Kirk 
was born in a small town in Iowa. I thought 
it was an imaginative and original idea, and 
something people might get behind," Miller 
explains. "So, out of a clear blue sky, I just 
made a motion at a City Council meeting 
that we designate Riverside as Kirk's future 
birthplace. I proposed to keep it a small- 
town celebration, but with a Star Trek 
theme. After some hesitation, another coun- 
cil member seconded the motion, saying that 
if I was crazy enough to think it would 
work, he would give it a try. 

"Although they were taken by surprise, 
the resolution passed unanimously. Shortly 
after the meeting, I was talking to a friend 
who's a reporter in Cedar Rapids, and he 
decided to run a front page story on the 
idea. It was picked up by the wire services 
and The New York Times and was even 
broadcast over the BBC in England. The 
mayor had to take a week's vacation from 
his regular job to be at City Hall to answer 
all the calls about it. At that point, we knew 
we had made the right decision." 

Eventually, Roddenberry was contacted, 

and he not only gave his blessing, he sent 
Miller a certificate designating him a Flight 
Deck Officer as well. However, Paramount 
was somewhat less enthusiastic about the 
project. While the publicity department was 
eagerly sending photos of William Shatner 
autographed, "To all the folks back home 
in Riverside," the legal department initially 
issued dire warnings about using the Star 
Trek property for commercial purposes. 

Once Riverside became the "official" 
future birthplace, the exact spot was chosen 
for the event — a plot of ground behind the 
town barbershop. Shortly afterwards, the 
first Trek Fest was organized by Terry 
Phillips, a local video entrepreneur. The 
town-wide celebration is a non-profit event, 
with the proceeds already having paid for 
park playground equipment and the pur- 
chase of land for a new softball field. But, a 
portion of each year's profits is earmarked 
for the "Captain Kirk Fund," which will be 
used to commission a James T. Kirk bronze 
sculpture or possibly a Star Trek museum. 

Trek Fest is attended by more than 5,000 
people each year, creating a curious mixture 
of local residents and Trek fans from all 
over the world, the latter apt to be in full 
Federation uniform. The president of one of 
the largest Japanese Star Trek clubs, 
Masako Nuguchi, has stayed in the Miller 
home for the Fest, where she enjoyed such 
Iowan experiences as barbecuing steaks, 
riding a horse and driving a tractor. 

In addition to the usual parade, volleyball 
tournament, tricycle race and town dance, 
Trek Fest features showings of Star Trek 
episodes in a refurbished barn, meetings of 
Star Trek fan clubs from Iowa City, Des 
Moines and Chicago, and a Star Trek Swap 
Meet. The Community Club offers for sale 

The town of Riverside, Iowa proudly 
displays its future claim to fame. 

Trek Fest T-shirts, bumper stickers, but- 
tons, frisbees, mugs, caps and, most unique 
of all, a vial of "Kirk dirt" from the official 
birthplace, accompanied by a numbered cer- 
tificate of authenticity. Nearby scientific en- 
tities, such as Rockwell-Collins International 
(makers of space shuttle components) and 
the University of Iowa (home of James Van 
Allen, for whom the Van Allen Radiation 
Belt around the Earth was named) also ex- 
hibit space educational displays. Future 
plans include an invitation to William 
Shatner to attend, sweetened by an offer 
from Miller, who owns the actual plot of 
ground designated as the birthplace, to deed 
the land over to Shatner if he appears. 

Deciding that some physical evidence of 
the Star Trek connection was needed in the 
community, a replica of the U.S.S. Enter- 
prise, christened the U.S.S. Riverside, was 
constructed two years ago (and reported in 
Fan Net, STARLOG #97 & 112). Built in a 
welding shop by Larry Wieland, an 
automotive body man, and 20 businessmen 

The annual Trek Fest parade allows visitors to view the town's very own Constitution 
Class starship, the U.S.S. Riverside. 

STARLOG/February 1989 17 

and farmer volunteers, the 18' 8" starship 
rocks left to right, flashes various colored 
lights, and emits music. Miller had to hastily 
assemble a plastic model of the Enterprise to 
serve as a guide for the volunteers, since 
none of them were Star Trek fans. The 
donated materials consisted of metal pipes, 
plastic casings, and even K-Mart popcorn 
bowls, with paint work added by a local sign 
artist. When not appearing in the parade, 
the ship resides in the town park. One 
Halloween, vandals tried to hijack the ship 
but found her weight and size prohibitive. 

How did the citizens of Riverside react to 
their role in the Star Trek saga? "They were 
apprehensive at first," Miller acknowledges. 
"It was hard for them to understand why we 
would want to honor the birthday of some- 
one who doesn't really exist and isn't even 
born yet. But they've adapted." 

A walk down Main Street provides ample 
evidence that Riverside has adopted the 
future Captain as their own. At the Senior 
Citizen Center where the elderly gather for 
meals once a week, a sign reads, "Come and 
Dine with the Ancestors of Captain Kirk." 
At the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, a pic- 
ture of Kirk hangs above the caption, 
"Future Member #6414." Appropriately, 
the barbershop in front of the actual bir- 
thspot is "Future Designs," the store next 
door is "Enterprise Antiques," and on the 
other side is the "Vulcan Embassy." 

The Star Trek series can now add to its 
long list of honors and awards one more 

distinction: Capturing the hearts and minds 
of an entire town. For futher information 
on this year's Trek Fest, contact the River- 
side Area Community Club, Box 55, River- 
side, Iowa 52327. The voyage home doesn't 
take quite so long any more. 

— Jon E. Heitland 


Have a question that you think STARLOG 
could answer? Ask it on a postcard only and we'll 
do our best. Mail to STARLOG Queries, 475 
Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10016. Note: there 
will be no personal replies. 

Steve Miller (pictured here in the center of the local Trek fan club) was the first to 
suggest that Riverside be reserved an important place in 23rd century history. 

* * . MAGI 




PO BOX S470 





art o 


iii^TAi/irii r/\n Ail "7-1 Ail nKICikl 

Richard Herder asks: "In STARLOG #136, 
you did an episode guide of Star Trek scripts 
that were never filmed after the Star Trek II 
series didn't make it. Are any of those 
scripts going to be used in some way on Star 
Trek: The Next Generation"! Also, when are 
you going to do an episode guide on The 
Time Tunnel"!" 

The episode "The Child," written by Jon 
Povill and Jaron Summers, has been 
adapted for ST:TNG's second season. And, 
in case you didn't know, Star Trek IPs 
series premiere episode, "In Thy Image," 
was used as the basis for Star Trek: The Mo- 
tion Picture. An episode guide for The Time 
Tunnel will be done when the time is right. 
A partial episode guide to the five TV 
movies — each comprising two segments of 
the 30-episode series — which were syn- 
dicated in 1982, appears in issue #66. 


U.S.S.R. Seeks U.S. SF Fans: Deena Brooks 
is President of the Science Fiction Pen Pal 
Club, which is trying to coordinate an ex- 
change of information between Soviet SF 
fans and those in the U.S. and Canada. 
"While Soviets know little about Star Trek or 
Star Wars, they are well-read, and have their 
own SF authors and clubs." Says Brooks, 

"They would like to receive fanzines, books 
or magazines as well as make new friends. 
They are male and female, and come from all 
over the Soviet Union." Those interested can 
send an SASE to the SFPPC, P.O. Box 2522, 
Renton, WA 98056-0522 for more info. 
There is no obligation to join the club if you 
wish to participate in the mailing. 
Phantom Notes: A new Phantom of the 

Opera letterzine will be coming out three 
times a year in February, June and October. 
The contents are flexible. They'll include let- 
ters of comment, short fiction, poetry, pen 
and ink artwork — anything related to Phan- 
tom. To receive the first issue, send two 25« 
stamps to: Phantom Notes, 334A N. 71st 
Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213-3746. At this 
time, subscriptions are not available. 


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ensure a listing in STARLOG — not 
here but elsewhere — contact Connie 
Bartlett (212-689-2830) for cfassifed 
ad rates & advertise in the 



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ct a n t r\r~- / t?*u~ 

mon in 





With "The Phantom 

of the Opera," 

this French fantasist 

held Paris 

in a grip 

of fear. 

While Lon Chaney terrorized audiences, the 1925 film's writers were doing something 
even more frightening: changing the end of Gaston Leroux's story. 


In March 1921, Alexandre Millerand, 
President of the French Republic, went 
to Marseilles for a state dinner. On leav- 
ing the train, Millerand and each of his com- 
panions, as well as the Mayor of Marseilles 
and others, inexplicably found in their 
pockets a playing card: the seven of clubs. 
Despite questioning and a thorough 
police investigation, the mystery remained 
unsolved until the following week. At that 
time, a Parisian newspaper announced the 
publication of Gaston Leroux's latest 
adventure novel: The Seven of Clubs] It had 
all been a clever publicity ploy and another 
utilization of reality to enhance fantasy that 
was so typical of Leroux. 

The author of The Phantom of the 
Opera, perhaps his best known book, was 
born in Paris in 1868, to a bourgeois family. 
One of his teachers is reputed to have told 
him that he would become either a writer or 
an attorney. He chose both. In 1890, he 

veteran STARLOC correspondents, 
previewed Gandahar in issue #129. L YNNE 
STEPHENS supplied some additional 
material for this article. 

20 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 

Perhaps because Nelson Eddy's singing drowned out his own theatrics, Claude Rains, 
was forced to drop a chandelier onto the same stage his predecessor had menaced. 

joined the Paris Bar as an "Avocat- 
Stagiaire" while, at the same time, 
publishing poetry and short stories in 
various magazines. 

Three years later, however, Leroux left 
the legal profession behind to work for the 
newspaper Le Matin. Because of his 
background, he was assigned to cover 
criminal matters. In the course of his work, 
he attended five state executions. The sight 
of the guillotine in action was not easily 
forgotten. Still, the experience would later 
prove useful in his fiction writing, which 
often featured passionate crime, courtroom 
dramas and their sometimes frightful ends. 

In 1896, Leroux was among the six 
reporters who accompanied President Felix 
Faure to Russia. Over the next few years, 
Leroux began to expand his field of 
coverage, writing about the Dreyfus Affair, 
French politics and his travels. 

Leroux would do anything for a good 
scoop — including the forging of identity 
papers to obtain a prison interview with a. 
convicted criminal under tight security. Us- 
ing Sherlock Holmes-like deductions, he 
proved that the prisoner was innocent, to 
the acute embarrassment of court officials 
and police. 

The writer's newspaper assignments also 
swept him to the far corners of Europe, Asia 
and Africa, where he would often don 
elaborate disguises to blend in with the 
populace. In colorful articles from abroad, 
Leroux vividly described encounters with 
princes, artists and warriors. Most of his 
readers would have refused to stand in an 
erupting Mt. Vesuvius, but to Leroux, it was 
just' another adventure. 

In 1901, he published the first collection 
of his articles, Sur Mon Chemin (On My 
Path). La Double Vie de Theophraste 
Longuet (The Double Life of Theophraste 
Longuet), the first of his 33 novels, ap- 
peared in Le Matin in 1903. In it, Longuet, a 
meek, mild-mannered bourgeois literally 
relives the life of Cartouche, the famous 
18th-century French bandit, and dies the 
same horrible death (Cartouche was 

La Double Vie reflected both Leroux's 
fascination for the occult and his knowledge 
of the criminal mind. It also exhibited his 
penchant for a certain "grand guignol." In 
it, a butcher's head is served in the same 
manner as a lamb's. There's a strange fan- 
tasy angle — Longuet encounters in the 
catacombs a civilization of 20-fmgered men 
speaking a 14th-century French dialect. 

In a move that has been imitated since, 
Leroux also involved his readers in a 
treasure hunt. Clues had been planted in the 
novel that would eventually enable someone 
to collect 25,000 francs. 

Detectives Diabolique 

For the next two years, Leroux became Le 
Matin's correspondent in Russia. Aware of 
the cruelty and incompetence of the Tsarist 
regime, he was among the first to foresee the 
Russian Revolution. Throughout 1905, he 
covered tragic happenings, including such 
famous events as the Potemkin Revolt. 

Herbert Lorn was the man behind this Phantom's mask, but was he also behind this 
spectre's killings? Not according to this version. 

Herbert Lorn may have mesmerized 
Heather Sears as Hammer's Phantom, but 
this 1962 Opera was actually written for 
Cary Grant. 

Through his ingenuity, Leroux also 
became one of the world's first celebrity 
journalists. He had a good income, Le 
Matin's readers loved him, and the 
newspaper's circulation increased 
noticeably. One night in 1907, at three in the 
morning, he gave it all up. Leroux already 
had four novels in print, but after a fateful 
pre-dawn phone call from his editor, during 
which Leroux adamantly refused to drag his 
exhausted body to yet another disaster site, 
he decided to make his living entirely by 
writing fiction. 

A year earlier, Leroux had written Le 

i i 


Horror hit Hungary, not France, when Jane 
Seymour took over as Christine and 
Maximillian Schell reared Erik's ugly head 
as TV's Phantom of the Opera. 

Mystere de la Chambre Jaime (The Mystery 
of the Yellow Room), in which he introduc- 
ed Joseph Rouletabille, a young enterprising 
journalist whose powers of deduction rival- 
ed those of Sherlock Holmes. Rouletabille 
is, in France, one of the most famous detec- 
tives in fiction. In fact, his name has become 
a synonym for a spirit of cleverness and 
deduction. Rouletabille, along with two 
other French pulp characters, Arsene Lupin 
and Fantomas, has inspired many film- 
makers, leading to at least five movie adap- 
tations of The Mystery of the Yellow Room, 
(continued on page 43) 

ST ARLOG/ February 1989 21 

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kjl tllC 

Almost 80 years after 

he was first 

summoned up, 

Gaston Leroux's 

musical menace is still 

bringing down the 

(opera) house. 


A deformed, lonely man-creature. A 
young, beautiful woman. Love. 
Mystery. Candles, shadows, unend- 
ing labyrinths. A world above and a world 

Beauty & the Beast! No. This master of 
the underworld calls himself Erik, but the 
terrified occupants of the Paris Opera 
House hurl hushed curses at what they call 
the Phantom of the Opera. And the object 
of his desires isn't a deputy D.A. but a 
talented chorus singer named Christine 
Daae, whose operatic gifts flourish under 
the Phantom's unearthly tutelage. 

For almost 80 years, the Phantom legend 
has horrified and excited a worldwide au- 
dience. Women screamed when Lon 
Chaney revealed his death's head features in 
the 1925 silent film and pitied his later 
demise. Subsequent versions veered more 
towards adventure and spectacle, playing 
down the romance and mystery present in 
the original novel. 

Phantom fever burned once again in 1986 
when Andrew Lloyd Webber, the British 
composer of such stage hits as Cats and 
Jesus Christ Superstar, debuted a pop- 
operatic Phantom in London. Lloyd Web- 
ber's Phantom isn't the acid-scarred lunatic 
of the later Phantom films, but the soulful, 
brilliant, lovesick composer created in the 
novel by Gaston Leroux (see page 20). 

Leroux penned The Phantom of the 
Opera in 191 1 to pay off debts. Like any 
good novelist using a real setting, he paid 
strict attention to details of time, place and 
atmosphere. To impart a journalistic veneer 
to his tale, he researched every facet of the 
Paris Opera House, seamlessly blending fact 
and fiction. 

The actual opera building could have 
been one of Leroux's more fantastical crea- 
tions. An ornate neo-Baroque structure 
designed by Charles Gamier (critics of the 
time said it resembled a cross between a 
Turkish bath and a railway station), its un- 
finished interior served as an arsenal, 
warehouse and military prison during the 
final chapter of the Franco-Prussian war of 
1870. No operas were staged within the 
building until 1875, a full 13 years after con- 
struction originally began. 

Visitors today still marvel at the Opera 
House's imposing facade and grand design, 
including an underground stable for 20 
horses, which were used in spectacular pro- 
duction numbers. The Opera's backstage 
maze contains 2,500 doors. An 
underground lake, Leroux's setting for 

LYNNE STEPHENS is a New York-based 
writer who has reported on British theater 
for The Washington Post. This is her first 
article for STARLOG. 

ST ARLOG/ February 1989 23 

Erik's lair, still runs deep below ground 
level, underneath the stage area, ^his lake 
was built in order to provide the water 
necessary in operating hydraulic stage 
machinery. Today, its only use would come 
in case of fire, as more modern stage 
machinery was installed in this century. 

Leroux also appropriated a tragic incident 
in Paris opera history. In 1896, a chandelier 
counterweight broke free from its moorings 
and plummeted into the audience during a 
performance, crushing a woman to death. 
Leroux heightened the horror of the event 
by describing its fall and laying the 
murderous deed at his Phantom's feet. 

Despite all the standard ingredients for a 
sure-fire hit — an exotic, mysterious location, 
an evil genius and a threatened maiden — the 
first edition of The Phantom of the Opera 
was not a commercial success. After writing 
Phantom, Leroux immediately moved on to 
other projects. Indeed, the Phantom himself 
would have been consigned forever to 
literary obscurity if Carl Laemmle hadn't 
decided to vacation in Paris in 1922. 

Laemmle was a shrewd cinematic 
businessman. He had promoted Mary 
Pickford to superstardom and billed her as 
"The World's Sweetheart," and although 
his movie studio, Universal City, was barely 
seven years old, it was already a key player 
in the Hollywood film game. During his 
visit, Laemmle met Leroux and excitedly 
described his first impressions of the Paris 
Opera House. Leroux gave Laemmle a copy 
of his 1 1-vear-old book as bedtime reading. 

That night, after dashing through the book, 
Laemmle knew he was holding a 
moviemaker's dream. 

The movie mogul was equally certain of 
his need for one particular actor to play 
Erik. Film audiences already knew and 
loved Lon Chaney, "the man of a thousand 
faces," for his ability to project vulnerability 
from within his hideous screen monsters. 
Having just finished The Hunchback of 
Notre Dame, Chaney was available for a 
new project. 

While Universal negotiated with MGM 
lor Chaney's services, the huge Opera 
House set was constructed on Stage 28. But 
the film's production was anything but 
smooth. Scenes were shot, edited, removed, 
and then reinserted. Chaney enhanced his 
reputation as a stubborn and tireless perfec- 
tionist. Despite all the setbacks, Phantom 
was a box-office hit in 1925. Audiences lov- 
ed the massive sets, the large Cast and 
Chaney's horrific appearance, which was 
the result of the actor's own makeup exper- 
tise. Chaney placed celluloid discs in his 
cheeks and pushed wires up his nose to 
create an inhuman facial shape. Eye drops 
(for the bug-eyed look) and deftly-applied 
makeup completed his transformation. 

This Phantom followed the novel's plot 
closely, with one major exception. Instead 
of ending with Erik freeing Christine to 
choose her own destiny, the 1925 film's 
writers forced the Phantom to be a villain to 
the end. To wit, he kidnaps Christine and 
attempts to flee Paris with her, only to be 

captured by a raging mob and thrown to his 
death in the Seine. Despite this radical 
departure from the novel's ending, the 1925 
film remains, to this day, the most faithful 
screen adaptation of Leroux's story. 

Other Apparitions 

In the 1943 Phantom of the Opera, 
though, there was far more opera than 
Phantom. The nominal star of the movie 
was Claude Rains but the film focused more 
on Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster war- 
bling away in mock operas. The net effect 
was a movie as frightening as Lassie, with 
Rains' face half-covered in what appears to 
be congealed Jell-O, but it did succeed with 
audiences as a musical spectacular. 

He's there inside her mind, regardless of 
wherever else Christine (Claire Moore) may 
look for the Phantom of the Opera. 

So, the Phantom murdered 
a few people, dropped a 
chandelier on an Opera 
company and warped a 
woman's mind. Dave 
Willetts still insists, 
"This is not a 'bad' guy." 

Since then, five other versions of the 
Phantom's tale have appeared on movie or 
TV screens, each one wandering even fur- 
ther from its literary source. Famous Phan- 
toms include Herbert Lorn and Maximilian 
Schell. None of these versions are con- 
sidered as memorable as the first two, 
although Brian (Carrie) De Palma did create 
an underground success with his Phantom 
of the Paradise, which was set in a rock 'n' 
roll dance palace. 

In each case, the Phantom has been 
transformed from a congenitally deformed 
genius to an ordinary man hideously injured 
by someone else, who then seeks some sort 
of retribution. Thus, the originally complex 
psychological drives behind the Phantom's 
actions are reduced to filmmaking formula. 

But it was the element of tragic romance 
in Leroux's original version that first at- 
tracted Andrew Lloyd Webber to the Phan- 
tom. This all-but-forgotten plot component 
became the backbone of the musical's book, 
co-written by Lloyd Webber and Richard 

An important decision was to present the 
Phantom as he was initially created — a sane 
but lonely man, a magician and composer 
deformed from birth. For many years, he 
was kept in a cage and displayed as a side- 
show freak. Now, he is living out a life of 
dignified desperation while looking for a 
woman to share his solitary existence. 

"This guy is not a 'bad' guy," says Dave 
Willetts, the English tenor who currently 
plays the Phantom in the London produ.c.-- ; ; V 
tion. "There is nothing at all wrong with 
him apart from his physical deformity." 

Willetts defends the Phantom's more 
outrageous deeds, including extortion and 
murder, as acts of last resort by a man who 
has invested years of his life and .all of his 
love in a young dancer, secretly training her 
to sing his own musical fantasies. "From 
behind that mirror [in Christine's dressing 
room], he has been teaching her and 
building her up. For yeacv" everything has 
been going quite smoothly," Willetts ex- 
plains. "He knows her. She has never met--- 
him but he knows, her.. He has been quite., 
satisfied just with. being behind the mirror." 

Christine welcomes the attention of this 
magical tutor; . "In the; beginning, she /is 
vulnerable,. and there is nothing else in her 
life, really,- since her; father died," says; 
Claire Moore, who now. sings Christine's 
soprano rote; in London.. Soon. ; after her" . 
father's /sjtpath; the Phantom's celestial 
music leSsjSBs begin. "Until she actually 
meets the Phantom, she has assumed that it 
is the spitSfiof her. father because her father 
said, 'When Tarn dead, I will send the angel 
of music to you.' " 

The cozy teacher-pupil relationship shat- 
ters when Christine's childhood sweetheart, 
the nobleman Raoul, comes to reclaim her 
heart. "Suddenly, Raoul comes in, and it is 
that moment that starts her thinking. She 
has a bit more to do with real life. She's not 
up in the clouds. It's so easy to become 
obsessed with your voice or your career, and 
then you meet somebody! It does happen in 
real life," says Moore. 

"You've now got this trio, this triangle," 
Willetts notes. The Phantom, terrified of 
losing the- woman of his romantic fantasies, 
reasons that he can win: Christine's love by 
forcing the Opera management to make her 
a star. "The Phantom must do something 
but he doesn't know what else to do." 

At first, the two Opera House managers 
scoff at the casting demands of a nonexis- 
tent "opera ghost." However, after their il- 
lusory menace strangles a stagehand during 
a ballet and reduces their chandelier to arm- 
fuis of splintered glass, they reluctantly 
acknowledge that this unwanted house guest 
means, business. 

Willetts sees it from the Phantom's point- 
of-view. "He_ sends all these notes and 
messages, and he tells people what to do but 
no one listens to him. He gets into such a 
State that he can only do one thing and that 
is draw attention to himself, by murdering 
people. N'o one will look at himor talk to 
him. Maybe now they'll listen!" .: ■."/• 

Despite Raoul and the Opera manage- 
ment's all-out war on the Phantom, he suc- 
ceeds in forcing the Opera staff to stage his . 
own composition, Don Juan Triumphant, 
with Christine in the lead. French police stnv 
round the Opera House, ready to catch the 
ghost when he attends his own opera, but 
the Phantom outwits all of them by killing 
the leading man and taking his place, . 

Alone with ..the. ; Phantom on . stager- 
Christine pulls off his. mask, revealing his : 
horrible features to a crowded: theater; 
Distraught, the Phantom drags Christine 
back to his underground lake, with Raoul. in 
close pursuit. 

Back on home ground, the Phantom cap- 
tures Raoul and forces Christine to choose: 
Raoul will die by strangulation if she refuses 
to stay with the Phantom for the rest of their 
lives. She chooses to remain for Raoul's 

sake, and seals her promise by giving the 
Phantom his first kiss and caressing his 
deformed face. 

However, Christine's supreme gift forces 
the Phantom to reconsider his demands. In 
tears, he frees Christine and Raoul to love 
one another. As Christine departs, he cries 
out the first kind words he has ever spoken: 
"Christine, I love you."/'\:;. 

Christine and Raoul use the Phantom's 
boat in order to escape the revenge-seeking 
mob whose search for the Phantom has led 
them to follow Raoul. But by the time the 
crowd reaches the underground lake, the 
Phantom has already vanished into thin air, 
leaving only his mask behind/;. 

Singing Spectre 

Both Willetts and Moore admire the final 
scene, which is similar to the hovel's ending 
but is not duplicated in. any of the Phantom 
films, "At the end, when Christine kisses 
him-^it is so hard for him to say, 'Christine, 
1 love you' — at that point, when the music 
swells, I don't think you can fail! How can 
you not be affected by it?" Willetts says. 
"That final scene is stunning. and brilliant." 

Diehard romantics in the audience may 
■resent Christine's choice to leave the Phan- 
tom in his lair, but Moore knows it's 
Christine's only option. "She can't forgive 
him for what heh.asdone, because, after all, 
he has killed one or two people on the way, 
and not made life at all pleasant for her. I 
think she can understand him and she does 
care what happens to him, but she can't stay 
there. That would mean giving up her life, 
and she couldn't do that." 

Willetts agrees. As the Phantom, he 
acknowledges that Christine's life under the 
Opera House would be less than ideal. "She 
has kissed him, she has touched his face, 
arid the spell that he wanted to weave has 

START ClCWFphnjnrv 1QXQ "><J 


i V 1 





a |*ff| 


Not hearing from the Phantom for six months is cause enough for celebration, but little does anyone know that Erik is 
about to get back into the spirit of things. 

been broken. All the fronts, all the game- 
playing, and all the rest of it are over. It's 
for real now. 

"At the end, when it comes to the final 
crunch, he realizes that she, being a young, 
beautiful girl with her whole life ahead of 
her, can't just be cocooned in this labyrinth 
in the Opera House. He has every oppor- 
tunity to kill Raoul and just run off with 
her, but he doesn't. He knows that she can't 
really stay with the Phantom because it's not 
right. It is simply not right. And because he 
loves her so much, he lets her and Raoul go 
to continue life." 

Still, Christine leaves behind a wiser man, 

instead of the grown child who has always 
believed that people are like his magic tricks 
and his toys, things he can manipulate at his 
leisure. Willetts explains his character's 
transformation at the musical's end: 
"Everything has been 'You will do as I say. 
If you don't, this is what will happen.' " 

But in facing his loss, Willetts believes the 
Phantom becomes a changed man. "He has 
become humble enough and man enough 
and grown up enough to say, 'Christine, I 
love you.' He has finally been released." 

And in doing so, the audience can often 
be as distraught over Christine's departure 
as the Phantom himself. "When I'm crying, 

sometimes I put my head down and I can 
catch a glimpse of the front row," says 
Willetts. "You see these guys with no necks, 
tattoos all over their arms and up their 
foreheads, with a little tissue dabbing their 
eyes! But you have to be very careful not to 
turn the screw just a little bit more." 

The rapport the Phantom establishes with 
Christine extends to the audience as well. "I 
go out some nights, at the stage door, and 
there are people who say, 'Thank you for 
my "Music of the Night" [the Phantom's 
seductive solo] tonight.' Some people get so 
engrossed, they think I'm doing it to them! 
Not to Christine, to themV says Willetts. 
"It's one of those things where you can real- 
ly involve the audience. They feel a part of 
what is going on. You believe it. You believe 
this guy exists." 

Effective Spirit 

Theater designer Maria Bjornson's sets, 
costumes and special FX heighten the Phan- 
tom's reality. She creates the world of the 
Paris Opera House through the use of 
opulent curtains, candles and various 
theatrical items such as footlights, 
dropcloths and, of course, a beaded, gilded 
chandelier weighing three-quarters of a ton. 
Bjornson's special effects allow the Phan- 
tom to raise lit candles from under a lake, 
give life to a mannequin, appear from 
nowhere and then melt into a floor, shoot 
fire from a staff, and guide a boat without 
touching it. 

Unlike most of today's complex stage 
(continued on page 28) 









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(continued from page 26) 

production, most of Phantom's special FX 
are created through the use of stage 
machinery that would have been available to 
theater designers 100 years ago. Moore 
credits Bjornson with Phantom's distinctly 
turn-of-the-century magic. "The FX are 
stunning, but I think it's the design that 
makes them special. There aren't any lasers 
or anything like that. All the candles and 
candelabras are moved mechanically." 
(However, in the New York production, the 
FX are controlled by computer systems.) 

Moore admits that the Phantom's boat, 
the only truly "hi-tech" piece of machinery 
in the London show, has an unfortunate" 
tendency to balk far more often than jt.c 
should. The boat, a decorated platform that 
rests on three wheels, must "glide'' from the 
back to the front of the stage on a fogbound 
"lake" simulated by dry ice. 

An operator directs the boat by remote 
control, using a bulky piece of equipment 
similar to an oversized: Etch-A-Sketch. 
"[The operator] stands in the wings, and he 
has to move with us; ; He has to maneuver it 
around the trap doors, and hope that it 
doesn't get stuck, and hope that he can see 
through the dry ice, and hope that it's going 
to work! "Moore says. 

"There have been occasions where we've 
gone towards the [orchestra] pit ... and kept 
going towards it! I've been sitting there, 
singing avvay and sort of edging my bottom 
backwards, thinking, 'At least if T can 
counterbalance it, we might save lives — like 
mine!' " she laughs. "I'm glad I'm out 
there and not backstage, because whoever is 
doing it every night must have absolute 

When one of the boat's wheels does be- 
come shoaled in a slight indentation created 
by a trap door, the boat's operator can do 
nothing. The actor playing the Phantom is 
forced to step out of the boat (making him 
appear to walk on water!) and unobtrusively 
lift or kick the boat away from the traps 
while continuing to sing and act. 

Phantom's producers eliminated other 
potentially troublesome FX early in the 
show's London run because they didn't add 
to the "reality" of the Paris Opera House. 
Originally, the Phantom used a horse to 
transport Christine down through the 
labyrinth to his boat, "but we had to get rid 
of it," says Moore. "It wasn't a real one 
and it didn't really work. Everything else is 
so real, and suddenly you get this pretend 
horse. It was too distracting. It worked on a 
rod and looked like something at a 
fairground that you would shoot at. Also, 
there was a dummy of Christine sitting on 

Moore laughs, recalling another effect 
that went awry. "We also had doves in the 
scene on the rooftop. Unfortunately, they 
didn't know it was a rooftop; they knew it 
was a theater, and they thought, 'Oh, there 
are lights. Let's fly towards them!' Well, 
how is anybody going to explain to a dove 

that it's taking part in a musical? It doesn't 
matter how much they get paid, they aren't 
going to know. So, although they were very 
authentic to the plot, it didn't work as well 
in practice as it did in theory." 

Other Phantom theatrics, while not 
technically complex, require the actor play- 
ing the Phantom to be a stuntman as well as 
singer. Near the end of Act One, the Phan- 
tom must hide in, and then appear from, a 
small platform dangling from the very top 
of the stage. The Phantom uses this plat- 
form (nicknamed "the angel" because of 
the figures decorating its sides) in order to 
spy on Christine and Raoul below, so he 
must remain unobtrusive to the lovers and 
the audience as well. Before revealing 
himself, Willetts must remain tightly 
crouched on the platform until the scene 
below him is complete. 

Waiting for his turn to sing, Willets 
laughingly admits, "I fall asleep, I set the 
alarm clock, and make up a laundry list! 
No, I just listen to what is going^on. There 
are little holes that you can peep through 
and see the audience reaction. There's not 
much you can do." 

By the time Willetts makes his first ap- 
pearance in Christine's mirror, he has 
already spent several hours confined in 
another location, his makeup chair. The 
Phantom's deformities, which were design- 
ed by Christopher {The Elephant Man) 
Tucker (FANGORIA #16), require Willetts 
to don a skullcap, another wig, and various 
latex appliances including swollen lips, a 
cheekbone and an open, oozing skull. 

The pieces must be set in place, dried and 
painted for each day's performance, a pro- 
cess that takes two hours to complete. "It's 
a long, long day in makeup," says Willetts. 
"I've thought of trying to nip out to 
McDonald's." Fortunately for Willetts, the 
makeup takes only 10 minutes to remove. 

The Phantom of the Opera opened in 
London in 1986 and New York in January 
1988. {Phantom is currently running in 
Tokyo. Los Angeles and Toronto produc- 
tions are scheduled to open this year.) 
Critics on both sides of the Atlantic rushed 
to praise Lloyd Webber's music, Bjornson's 
sets and costumes, and Harold Prince's 
direction, but many roasted Charles Hart's 
lyrics, calling them trite and unimaginative. 

Despite some lukewarm reviews, the 
American and English productions of Phan- 
tom are sold out months in advance. Fans 
call the musical a theatrical fairy tale, a story 
that encourages them to see the show again 
and again. "People just love the spectacle of 
it," explains Willetts. "You've not only got 
this wonderful music, but you have a good 
love story, in a way." 

He enjoys the fact that the audience 
becomes so entwined in the lives of the 
Phantom characters. "It's the sign of a 
good show that people keep coming 
back — they can't get enough of it. I hope 
they come back for a long time!" Judging 
by the popularity of Phantom in England 
and the USA, Gaston Leroux's tale of love, 
horror and sacrifice will be enchanting au- 
diences for some time to come. T« 

Martin Landau 

Dealer of the Century 

So, Martin Landau could have played 
Mr. Spock on Star Trek and the face 
of television history would have been 
vastly altered. Instead, Landau has endured 
as a character actor in such acclaimed films 
as North by Northwest and second-rate fare 
like Meteor and Alone in the Dark. 

He has enjoyed immense success on 
television, despite passing on the Spock role, 
appearing in classic episodes of The Twilight 
Zone and The Outer Limits, and starring 
with his wife Barbara Bain in Mission: Im- 
possible and Space: 1999 (which he discuss- 
ed extensively in STARLOG #108). 

Now, Landau is basking in the glow of 
critical praise for his performance as Abe 
Karatz, the business partner and confidant 
of Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges) in Francis 
Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His 
Dream. The film, executive produced by 
George Lucas, tells the true-life story of 
Tucker, an ambitious car maker who of- 
fered the world the Tucker Torpedo in 1948. 
A state-of-the-art auto, the Torpedo 
featured seat belts, pop-out safety windows, 
disc brakes and fuel injection. Such revolu- 
tionary and costly innovations threatened 
the livelihood of the big three automakers, 
and with the aid of the American govern- 
ment, they quickly squashed Tucker's 
dream, but not his spirit. While Bridges is 
unquestionably the film's colorful star, Lan- 
dau is its gritty heart and soul. 

Odd Couplings 

"Many people say I was cast as Abe 
against type. That's not true," Landau 
claims. "The bottom line is a good actor can 
play many things. You just haven't seen me 
do something like this before." 

Not until producer FredRoos and director 
Coppola selected Landau to portray the 
shadowy New York businessman, a grim 
type who sits in a cafeteria hunched over a 
cup of coffee — alone. "He certainly doesn't 
know from Preston's animals and the coun- 
try where Preston and his family live," Lan- 

Has Tucker's business 
partner got a bargain 
for you— a free tour 
around Moonbase 
Alpha with every 
purchase of a 
Tucker Torpedo! 


dau explains. "The country is a place to go 
through very quickly on the way back to the 
city. Suddenly, Abe is thrust into a new 

"He meets Preston, a guy who's a 
midwestern WASP, who's up to his hips in 
kids and animals and lives in the country. 
There's just no way these two guys are going 
to get together. And what happens out of 
this strange union? Abe finds the family he 
never had. He learns to dream again. Feel- 
ings are uncovered he hasn't touched in 
years. He loves these people. Even his own 
checkered past, which would have meant 
nothing to him in the context of his life as it 
was, suddenly becomes meaningful in a 
whole other way. He's a proud man and 
suddenly he's ashamed. Abe becomes a 
much better human being. I saw it as a kind 
of love story between these two very dif- 
ferent men, between this strange couple." 

Just as Tucker stood ready to mass pro- 
duce Torpedos at his plant, the government 
clamped down, accusing the automaker of 
gathering funds for a car he never intended 
to make. The 46 Torpedos, still roadworthy 
in 1988 (only 50 were produced), attest to 
Tucker's foresight and legitimacy, perhaps 
putting to rest the questions regarding his 
motives. Karatz, for his part, handed 
Tucker his resignation shortly before 
Tucker's trial, not wanting to hurt his 
friend's chances for acquittal — since an old 
embezzlement conviction, for which Karatz 
served time, would come back to haunt him. 
Still, Tucker was found innocent of all 
charges. The vindication, however, was bit- 
tersweet; the dream was dead. 

Karatz apparently felt beaten and 
disassociated himself from the Tucker fami- 
ly. "The last time anyone ever saw Abe was 
at the trial in which he sat in the front row. 
That was it," Landau says. "No one knows 
what happened to him. I doubt Abe is with 
us any longer. He would be about a hundred 
now. His real name was Karson, which he 
changed to Karatz because of a fight he pro- 
moted in which there seemed to be some 
question as to whether the winner won. 

"But no one thinks Preston could have 
done what he did without Abe. Abe was 
really a very strong part of the team. Tucker 
was the guy out there and Abe not only rais- 
ed money, but he added behind-the-scenes 
input. He was an odd man, a New York 
Jewish fellow in a different kind of element. 
They all became very fond of hiro. He didn't 
like to be in the spotlight, possibly because 
of his past." 

Landau gladly credits Roos and Coppola 
for noticing the acting qualities in him 
necessary to. breathe life into Abe Karatz. 
"There are many actors in the world, yet 
Fred and Francis thought of me for it. I got 
a call from Fred, who said, 'Marty, there is 
a messenger on his way and he has a script. 
Read it and look at the part of Abe.' 1 read 
it and the script just smacked of style and 
texture and. . .and stuff" Landau laughs. 

IAN SPELLING, NY-based writer, 
previewed Cocoon in issue it 137. 

"I just loved it. Abe knocked me out. Let's 
say I'm playing a heavy. Most of the time 
I'm only using a sliver of what I am, a little 
piece. Sometimes, the more you embellish 
that, the worse it can be. The part's just not 
there. When 1 read Abe, it reached off the 
page and grabbed me by the throat and pull- 
ed me in. I really felt I could do it wonder- 
fully well. 

"The possibilities for the role were enor- 
mous. The traps were also enormous. Peo- 
ple forget that I started out in New York 
theater and then came out to California and 
did movies with fine directors like Alfred 

it's a poetic, wonderful piece.' I was about 
to suggest Shirley Knight when he said, 'We 
just got Shirley Knight to play the girl.' I 
didn't have to think, never finished my 
sentence. I said, 'I'll do it.' " 

Space: 1999 never proved as popular as its 
sometime-role model, Star Trek, but the 
show continues to play to a loyal following 
all over the world, 13 years after its 
premiere. "It's funny, Charles Crichton, 
who directed every third episode of our 
show, just directed A Fish Called Wanda. 
He's 78 years old. He did The Lavender Hill 
Mob. Charlie is a great comedy director, 

Rather than give alien bad guys the Vulcan 
nerve-pinch as Star Trek's Spock, Landau 
opted to punch them out as Space: 7999's 
Commander Koenig. 

Hitchcock and George Stevens. You do 
some television, and somewhere along the 
line, people forget you can act. What I do 
best, what I've always done best, is act." 

Missions impossible 

By no means Tucker-ed out, Landau hap- 
pily recalls his television efforts, smiling a 
broad "I told you so" smile as he mentions 
the revamped Mission: Impossible. "The 
new series has been recast totally with new 
people [with the exception of Peter Graves], 
shot in Australia," Landau says. "I think 
[series creator] Bruce Geller would be 
unhappy about the idea of some old scripts 
being used because he was a member of the 
Writers Guild before he was a producer." 

Delving further into the past, Landau 
speaks in glowing terms of The Outer 
Limits. "I did two of them, one with Shirley 
Knight [whom Landau had taught in an act- 
ing workshop], called 'The Man Who Was 
Never Born.' That was an interesting 'Beau- 
ty and the Beast' tale," the actor says. "It 
was a lovely piece and it turned into a haun- 
ting show.' Joe Stefano [STARLOG #104] 
sent me the script and I thought to myself, 
'Shirley Knight would be wonderful as the 
girl.' I called Joe and said, 'I love it. 1 think 

A veteran of the original Mission: 
Impossible, Landau is happy that the show 
he considered ahead of its time has 
returned to television. 

and the only work he could get in the '70s 
was our show," Landau sighs. "We were 
thrilled to have him. You're talking about a 
great director who wound up doing a 
science-fiction television series. 

30 STARLOG/ February 1989 

Landau saw Tucker as a "kind of love story" between Abe Karatz and Preston Tucker 
(Jeff Bridges). It's about dreams, too— and could earn Landau an Oscar nomination. 

"I loved working on that show. We had a 
great time. I sort of instigated that. I don't 
know if you know this or not, but no one 
would do it in this country, so we went to 
England. Lew Grade only had The Muppei 
Show going at that time. Everyone in this 
country said — and this was two years before 
Star Wars — 'Science fiction? Get out of 

here!' Literally. I went to all the networks 
and said, 'I think it's the next big thing." 
Everyone laughed at me the way Abe 
initially laughs at Tucker. 

"We have a fan club that puts out lots of 
stuff. People can quote lines from it and it's 
a show that never got on network television 
in America," Landau continues. "It played 

Easter: 1999?\"? Dr. Helena Russell 
(Barbara Bain), Commissioner Simmonds 
(Beauty & the Beast's Roy Dotrice), 
Command Koenig (Landau) and Professor 
Bergman (Barry Morse) meet with Captain 
Zantor (Christopher Lee) as he heads 

in 120 countries at one time. It's still playing 
in 30 or 40 countries. It's playing right now 
in France and Germany. Brian Johnson did 
our special FX and he later worked for 
George Lucas [on The Empire Strikes 

"Space: 1999 was an interesting show in 
that it touched on the Moon being used as a 
garbage dump for nuclear waste. It was only 
25 years into the future when we did it. We 
are, in fact, technologically and emotionally 
ill-equipped to do what we were thrust into 
on the series. If we wanted to, we couldn't 
go into deep space with 300 people. Again, it 
was only a few years into the future. We 
were also asking what happens to Earth 
without the Moon. The last contact we have 
with the Earth is that there are tidal waves 
and earthquakes — an interesting concept." 

Another interesting concept, one set even 
less distant in the future, positions Martin 
Landau before a podium in Hollywood ac- 
cepting a Best Supporting Actor Academy 
Award for Tucker. At the mention of a 
possible Oscar, Martin Landau grins. "That 
would be wonderful," he says graciously, 
"Thank you for even suggesting it." A 

9T4RI C\C,IFohr 

-rue Ou« 

Nigel Kneale 

teriwass ew _<„« 


KSIS : peter ?Jf jf 

part or 

r days ..ST rec a»s 



Photo: Courtesy Nigel Kneale 

"I don't think any of my scripts have had a 
heavy message," notes Kneale. 

Why is STARLOG running a three- 
part interview with Nigel Kneale, 
whose name may very well mean 

■ little to many readers of this magazine? It's 
simple: He may be the best film/television 

, writer of original science-fiction material 
ever. He hasn 't written necessarily the most 
famous films, but those he has written have 
been enormously influential. The directors 
and other writers that STARLOG readers 
revere will almost all cite the teleplays and 
films of Kneale among their favorites. 

Even the best-informed film buffs 
sometimes forget a very important fact: All 
films, all TV shows begin with the written 
word. Actors are adored by fans — with 
justification— but the actors wouldn't have 
anything to do if the script didn't exist. 
Patrick Stewart, Harrison Ford, Sigourney 
Weaver — ask them, and they will tell you 
one and all that they can 't be good without a 
good script. 

Directors become media superstars; 
Steven Spielberg, George Romero, Joe 
Dante — all must have a good script from the 
word go. Each of these, and virtually any 
other director you can name, has had to 
struggle with scripts that weren't good, and 
the results often show. 

Nigel Kneale — known to his friends as 
"Tom " (Nigel being his middle name) — is a 
quiet, unassuming man, a little bemused by 
his fame as a writer of science fiction. As he 

prefers, he works primarily in British televi- 
sion; much of what he has done was record- 
ed on videotape (and some of his best work 
has been erased, so it is lost forever), and 

that rarely travels to the American side of 
the Atlantic. But his most significant crea- 
tion, Dr. Bernard Quatermass, has also been 
the subject of three feature films, based on 
his teleplays; a fourth film was a shortened 
version of the much longer television pro- 

He and his wife Judith Kerr, one of the 
most popular writers of children's fiction in 
England, treated STARLOG correspondent 
Bill Warren and his wife Beverly to a tradi- 
tional British tea, even including cucumber 
sandwiches with the crusts cut off. (Judith 
Kerr admitted that she had never actually 
done that before.) While Mrs. Warren and 
Mrs. Kneale chatted about cats, Nigel 
Kneale gave Bill Warren the lengthy inter- 
view that follows, to be continued in the 
next two issues. 

STARLOG: A few years ago, STARLOG 
named you as one of the 100 most impor- 
tant people in the field of science fiction 
(issue #100). I know you're not entirely com- 
fortable with your position as science-fiction 
guru, but why do you think this has come 
about? Why are you regarded so highly? 
NIGEL KNEALE: I have no idea. I write all 
sorts of things. Certainly what I'm writing 
now and what I will be writing next has 
nothing whatever to do with science fiction. 
I just mixed it in from time to time; occa- 
sionally, it was sort of amusing and in- 
teresting to do a story that had to do with 
space or something. 

When I began, I was working in the BBC 
and they had never done an original science- 
fiction story of any kind at that time. I did 
The Quatermass Experiment, and it was in- 
deed an experiment for the BBC, too, and it 
worked. So, they said I should do another 
one, the way they do. Long afterwards, a 
couple of years later, I did. 

But those were meant to be a mix of [fic- 
tional use of] the rocketry story, which at 
the time was still pure fiction. No rocket had 
ever been fired anywhere into space, so it 
still had high novelty and a certain amount 
of comedy. By "comedy," I don't mean a 
tongue-in-cheek send-up of what at the 
same time you're writing — I don't like 
that — but that it would heighten the 
message. Everybody has done that, right 
back to William Shakespeare, when the 
porter comes on in Macbeth and has his lit- 
tle moment. You use one to heighten the 
other. This seemed to be a nice way to work 
in writing them, and it was fun for a while. I 
was working in films and other things as 
well, which were totally unlike anything to 
do with science fiction. 
STARLOG: The fame you have among 
science-fiction fans may be because your 
ideas are truly novel, you come from a dif- 
ferent direction than most science fiction 
thinking, and you're not in that field. 
KNEALE: Well, I don't know anything 
about science, for a start, though I am in- 
terested in it. I have no scientific 
background whatever, so I can say that I'm 
as innocent as the audience, and if I find it 
novel and interesting, maybe the audience 
will, too. That was the premise on which I 

When Kneale originally began work on 
Quatermass, no manned rocket had yet 
been fired into space. 

proceeded. I think it worked for those 
stories and because I was after purely the 
drama and the humor, if any, and the purely 
narrative interest in just telling a story. 
STARLOG: I know that in your first story 
collection, Tomato Cain, there's a wonder- 
ful yarn called "The Bog," which is strictly 
fantasy horror. It has been anthologized 
many times. 

KNEALE: That was about the first story I 
ever wrote. The trouble with anthologies is 
that they tend to repeat from one to 
another. I love the other stories in my book, 
which I think were just as good, but they fell 
away. There was a story in that collection 
called "The Photograph," which Tom 
Baker read on television. It was based on a 
total truth. It happened to my father when 
he was a little boy of five living on the Isle of 
Man, and he was seriously, perhaps fatally 
ill. His mother took him off to be 
photographed so that if they didn't have 
him any more, they would at least have a 
photograph of him. That seemed to have 
been such a horrendous experience that I 
made a story out of it. Baker read it 

STARLOG: How did you get started 
writing television? 

BILL WARREN, veteran STARLOG cor- 
respondent, is the author of Keep Watch- 
ing the Skies Vols. 1 & 2 (McFarland, 
$39.95 each). He profiled John Schuck in 

STARLOG/Februarv 1989 31 

KNEALE: Well, I had that book published 
and that was it, really. But I couldn't live on 
what I made from the book, which was a 
miserable amount. And I said, "I must do 
something else." Well, TV was just beginn- 
ing here at that time. During the war, there 
was no television here; it had disappeared 
into the ground. Then, in the late '40s, it 
was being set up again. They had a very 
small drama department, and so I got into 
that. I was paid five pounds a week, which is 
not a lot, to act like a script doctor, while 
also writing for anything, the music depart- 
ment, anything that was going; I was in 
there just to make a few more pounds. And 
it was interesting, because that was really a 
time when television, here in England 
anyway, was just getting its start. 

So, I stayed with the BBC for about five 
years, and of course, by then it had actually 
begun to compete with commercial televi- 
sion. But that was an interesting time, 
because for a while, for most of those five 
years, there was no competition. You turned 
on the set, you saw the BBC, the only chan- 
nel. It was interesting because of this 
monopoly; if you put on a play like The 
Quatermass Experiment, you knew that was 
the only thing they would be watching — 
anyone who had a television set would be 
watching, they had no choice. I remember 
we were working at a place called Alexandra 
Palace, which is the oldest studio in Europe, 
I think, then with the oldest cameras, but we 
did it there. Afterwards, after a hectic half- 
hour of doing this thing live, you would 
stagger out into the hot summer air, and you 
could look down from the height of Alexan- 
dra Palace onto the town of London, and 
see little TV aerials stuck out of 
houses — and you knew that they had all 
watched. You could see your own audience; 
it was a curious sort of feedback. 
STARLOG: In the first Quatermass, you 
did more than just write it; your hands 
played the part of the monster at the end, in 
Westminster Abbey. 

KNEALE: It was played by my hands, yes. I 
still have the gloves somewhere about the 
house as a curiosity. There was no special 
FX department of any kind in the BBC at 
that time, so they said that since I had gotten 
them into this, I had to get them out of it. 
There was no money for models, so 
somebody went down to Westminster Ab- 
bey and bought the guidebook; they blew up 
the picture in it and stuck it o^a piece of 
plywood, then cut a couple of holes in it. I 
had my hands through there, dressed with a 
lot of stuff I had made, leather and leaves 
and stuff, and I waggled them very, very 
gently. There were monitors so I could see 
not to waggle them too much. 
STARLOG: You were also an actor once. 
KNEALE: Very briefly, for about a year. 
At Stratford-Upon-Avon, carrying spears, 
mainly, and not much else, some understu- 
dying. But I found it was less interesting 
than I had hoped. 

STARLOG: Did it influence your writing? 
KNEALE: I don't think so, because, in fact, 
I was already writing the sort of stories that 

Photo: Courtesy Michael Brurv 

Quatermass checks on the astronaut (Richard Wordsworth) infected with The 
Creeping Unknown. Kneale wasn't satisfied with Brian Donlevy's portrayal of 

had a bit of dialogue; in some of these 
stories, they're like very, very, very short 
plays, played by one character. And in a 
way, it was a practice run for writing scripts. 
STARLOG: What do you think your 
responsibility as a writer is to your audience? 
Let's say television, since that's where 
you've done most of your writing. 
KNEALE: It is just to make your work as 
good as possible: to be funny, to entertain, 
things like that. I don't preach; I don't think 
any of my scripts have had a heavy message. 
I enjoy writing the stuff that has some kind 
of internal paradox in it, sometimes with, I 
hope, an ironic or even mildly satirical 
streak, because I think that amuses me, and 
so it might amuse an audience. 
STARLOG: A classic purpose of science fic- 
tion is satire. 

KNEALE: Yes, I think it's best, or I enjoy it 
most anyway, when there is some angle like 

that. The stuff that heavily imagines life on 
nonexistent planets, that goes into all the 
details about it, and gets solid for 700 pages, 
I cannot read. I stop on page one. 
STARLOG: Do you read much SF? 
KNEALE: I'm afraid very little. I wouldn't 
consider myself very well-read in anything, 
really. Now, I would enjoy mainly straight 
science fiction. 

STARLOG: The Quatermass Experiment 
was a very popular teleplay. 
KNEALE: It seemed to go pretty well, yes. 
It was a novelty because the BBC had never 
done a science-fiction story. In a way, it was 
a very unserious thing. It had to be done 
that way partly because we had no special 
FX department, so it had to be very earth- 
bound. We had a little bit of a film of a V-2 
taking off. You saw the rocket when it had 
landed back on the outskirts of London, 
and from then on, it was all in London 

34 STARLOG/February 1989 

streets or in studio sets. We used places that 
people, even if they hadn't seen them, 
would have heard of, like Westminster Ab- 
bey. We set the ending there because the 
Queen [Elizabeth] had just been crowned 
there two months before, and it was one 
place that resonated. We didn't have to do 
more than stick up a few pillars and things 
in the studio, and then hello, it's 
Westminster Abbey. So, it made a good 
place to end the story. 
STARLOG: Its popularity led to the feature 
version made by Hammer. What did you 
think of it? In America, it's called The 
Creeping Unknown. 

KNEALE: That was a terrible title. I was 
disappointed in the film because I had very 
little to do with it. It was also much shorter. 
On television, we had six half-hours to do 
it in; in fact, every one of them would over- 
run, so it was more like six 40-minute 
episodes. They threatened to take us off the 
air at one point because we were overrunn- 
ing and the producer said well, just let them 
try. That was after we had built up an au- 
dience and knew we were bullet-proof, so 
we overran easily by 10 minutes or more 
each chapter. So, that was about 200 
minutes; cut that down to 90 minutes, and 
you've lost much of the story, much of the 
kind of detail and comedy scenes which are 
the wittiest part of it. You start to cut it 
down to the story's bare bones. 
STARLOG: I recently saw the feature 
again, and found the performance of 
Richard Wordsworth still hangs together. 
KNEALE: Yes, it's a very good perfor- 
mance, I did like that. I'm afraid the one I 
didn't like was Brian Donlevy [as Quater- 
mass], who was much past his best. He had 
been a very good actor in Preston Sturges' 
days, but those were long before. 
STARLOG: One of the major differences 
between the TV play and the movie is at the 
end. At the movie's end, the monster is 
merely a big thing that's destroyed by elec- 
tricity, but the end of your play was much 
more imaginative; in Westminster Abbey, 
Quatermass appeals to whatever traces of 
humanity are left in the creature. 
KNEALE: A very good actor, Reginald 
Tate, played Quatermass [in the TV 
version], and I knew he could do it. In fact, 
I hadn't written the last episode when they 
started showing the first, so nobody knew 
what it was going to be. Particularly when I 
saw the way he was playing in the early 
episodes, I wrote it directly for him, and he 
did it superbly well. 

He had to be almost quasi-religious. He 
had to appeal to the last human vestige in 
the monster, which he believed was there, to 
will itself to death, until it all came 
disintegrating and fluttering down. It work- 
ed, and I think it was a much more moving 
ending, a thing you don't always get in 
science fiction. Better than just electrocuting 
it by putting a lot of voltage into some 
girders on which it had unfortunately sat, as 
in the film. The Hammer monster was verv 
small; it looked like an undernourished oc- 
topus. Sad to do anything to it. 

Despite their state-of-the-art technology (circa '56), these poor spacemen are early 
victims of The Creeping Unknown. 

STARLOG: The climax is over quickly, 
because the emphasis is more on how it got 
to be that way than what happens at the 
end. The scenes in London as it is traced 
seem to be the best thing in the picture. 
KNEALE: Yes, and in the teleplay, too, at 
least for the audience, because it was a 
what'11-it-be-next-week sort of thing. 
STARLOG: Your next teleplay of this 
nature was 1984, which starred Peter 
Cushing (STARLOG #96, 100). 
KNEALE: Well, that really came out of The 
Quatermass Experiment. The 1984 project 
had been hanging around for what must 
have been three or four years in the BBC as 
a thing to be done, and various hands had 
had a go at it. Clearly, it needed much more 

fluid handling. At that time, television 
drama tended to be very fluid. It went from 
one very solid dialogue scene to the next. 

Now, The Quatermass Experiment was a 
fairly breezy story in the way it was screen- 
ed; I worked very closely with the pro- 
ducer/director, who was then one man, 
Rudolph Cartier. We enjoyed doing it that 
way. So, the BBC asked if we could tackle 
1984 and get it on the air. I did the script and 
Rudy produced it, using the same sort of 
fast-moving technique. It was pretty hairy, 
you know, with people rushing about the 
live studio hoping to be in the right place. 
But it did work, and we had a two-hour 
show which was very successful. 

It was perhaps too successful for the BBC 

Could it be that Forrest Tucker, like others, has come to believe that Peter Cushing 
would take the guise of the Snowman at the film's finale? Pho ,o : courtesy Tom weaver 

Abominable Snowman Photos: Copyright 1957 20th Century Fox 


/CWQ « 

Reprising his role from Kneale's teleplay, Peter Cushing has another taxing confrontation in the Himalayas with a celluloid Snowman. 

because there was uproar in the newspapers 
the next day. They were very easily upset in 
those days, the audience. Torture scenes on 
television? In our homes? What will happen 
next? In fact, that part of it was scrupulous- 
ly close to George Orwell. 
STARLOG: Was this the rat sequence? 
KNEALE: We had the rat sequence, and 
that was a difficult one, too. That was on 
film, not live, because rats were really a bit 
more than we could take on live. Somebody 
had gotten some real sewer rats, as prescrib- 
ed by Mr. Orwell, and they looked very 
unpleasant, but they would not respond. 
They were terrified because they had lived 
happily in the sewer; they didn't want to be 
any part of the studio, and they simply 
crouched against each other for company 
and refused to be menacing. So, they hastily 
went round and got some laboratory rats 
who were trained to be friendly, but the 
trouble was they were white. So, they 
powdered down these friendly creatures who 
wanted only to be stroked and petted; they 
put them in the awful instrument that gets 
fastened around Winston Smith's head, but 
these rats were just sitting up and begging, 
so the only way was to rub apple juice 
around the part that was to fit over 
Winston's head, and they got busy licking it 
off. Very menacing. 

STARLOG: And the BBC redid 1984 dur- 
ing the 1960s. 

KNEALE: I was credited with the script on 
both the BBC versions. Very few changes 
were made for the second production. It had 
a different, younger cast — if you work it 
out, they had to be younger if Winston 

36 SJARLOG/ February 1989 

Smith had no memory of war and revolu- 
tion, if you want to be logical about it. And 
we did. The second show was in 1966, and 
all knew the war-and-revolution bit hadn't 
happened yet. A version 10 years later 
would logically have Winston as a teenager. 
So the second film version, made in 1984 
itself [with John Hurt, STARLOG #88], 
could only present the story as a might-have- 
been, instead of a real, scary possibility. 

In the second BBC show, Winston was 
played by David Buck in a much plainer way 
than Peter Cushing played the role. O'Brien 
was played by Andre Morell in the first BBC 
production, and by Joseph O'Conor in 

I think the BBC versions were better than 
either of the films, simply because they 
caught some of the grotesque humor. A 
book with the first line "It was a bright cold 
day in April and the clocks were striking 
thirteen" is clearly announcing itself as a 
satire. Both films failed at this. The first one 
[starring Edmond O'Brien] was just bad. 
The second was doom-ridden, with poor 
Richard Burton's terminal illness obviously 
adding to it; and its timing was wrong, robb- 
ing it of its futuristic grip. 
STARLOG: What was your next SF 

KNEALE: The Creature came first, shortly 
after 1984. In fact, I was writing it while they 
were rehearsing 1984, straight from one to 
the other. And Cushing was also in that, 
and the film version, The Abominable 
Snowman, two or three years later. 
STARLOG: How did you happen to write a 
teleplay about the Abominable Snowman? 

KNEALE: Again, I just thought it would be 
interesting to do one. It was the same team, 
Rudy Cartier and I. We shot some 
backgrounds — well, / didn't — but he went 
to Switzerland and shot some very good film 
of Alpine sequences. 

STARLOG: In The Abominable Snowman, 
at the period it was made, everyone was 
assuming that (/there was such a creature, it 
would be villainous, or like a huge ape; you 
came up with creatures that were wise and 
gentle and wanted to avoid humanity. 
KNEALE: It seemed more interesting to do 
that. It's just too easy to make him bad, but 
it was more interesting if you made him 
good and gave it the additional twist that it 
had been a kind of parallel development, 
you know, that had got rather lost off in the 
Himalayas; it was sitting it out, waiting for 
us to make an end of it. Then, it would pad 
down merrily and take our place. 
STARLOG: Were they shown in the 
teleplay? You only see them indistinctly in 
the film, mostly, with only their eyes visible. 
KNEALE: Yes, filmed with difficulty, but I 
must say not altogether happily. They had a 
midget dressed up as Peter Cushing, but you 
only saw his back addressing somebody else, 
an actor in a kind of monster suit, which 
approximately worked, not as well as it 
could have done. But then again, you see, it 
was a live performance and you had to take 
a chance on what would work. The worst 
thing that happened in that little program 
was that we had to use sawdust as snow in 
the studio sequences, because if you used 
anything as white as snow itself, the cameras 
(continued on page 57) 


Epic Hero 

The self-styled 
actor" is a man 
in command of 
—and the craft 
of acting. 

r : 


'• w* 

■ his man has presence. You can feel it 
as soon as the door opens. He 
dominates the room as he does a 
stage, though he seems far smaller than the 
commanding figure he portrays on Star 
Trek: The Next Generation. In person, he's 
warm, ingratiating and very, very low key. 
Not at all the intimidating Captain Jean-Luc 
Picard, Patrick Stewart is a friendly guy. 

"I've done very few films," he notes, 
relaxing in his hotel room after a tumultuous 
reception on-stage earlier during an ap- 
pearance at Denver's Star Fest. "Yet, three 
of the films I've done are science fiction. 
One was l.ifeforce, one was Excalihur, one 
was Dune. So, I have a great deal of science 
fiction in my background. Also, I've done 
many classics, particularly Shakespeare, and 
there's a lot in his work which deals with ex- 
periences philosophical and scientific. 

"People ask, 'All those years as a classical 
actor, 25 years with the Royal Shakespeare 
Company, don't you feel that doing Star 
Trek is a comedown?' I can safely say with 
absolute certainty that all of that was 
reparation for what I'm doing now in Star 
~rek: The Next Generation. I could not do 
this job if I had not done that other stuff. So 
much of what I've done before has been 
preparation for Jean-Luc Picard." 

His preparation, of course, has included a 
small part in the historical thriller The Doc- 
tor and the Devils and pivotal roles in those 
three other single-word-titled SF epics. In 
1984's Dune, Stewart played Gurney 
Halleck, warmaster to the Duke Atreides 
(Jurgen Prochnow) and one of the teachers 
of his son Paul (Kyle MacLachlan). 

He almost didn't get the part. Another 
actor had originally been cast. However, 

once filming began, a replacement became 
necessary. "How can one plan one's 
career?" Stewart asks rhetorically. "I've 
always tried to take control over as much of 
my career as I could, instead of rising and 
falling with the tide. But in retrospect, there 
are so many things you cannot anticipate. 

"I had been in California and I received a 
script from out of the blue. A Japanese- 
American director had seen me in Excalibur 

and wanted me to play a supporting role in a 
film being made in Germany. The script was 
interesting, so I agreed to do it. My first day 
at work on location in Germany, I was sit- 
ting in my hotel room already in costume on 
standby waiting for call. 

"My agent rang and said, 'Do you 
remember months and months ago, we talk- 
ed about a project called Dune 1 . Well, 
they've suddenly called. There's a crisis. 

38 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 

They want to know if you're available.' 

"So, all that day, we were on the phone 
and by the day's end, [producer] Raffaella 
De Laurentiis had agreed to work around 
my German schedule. I spent the next five 
weeks commuting from Berlin to Churbusco 
Studios in Mexico [where Dune lensed]." 

But the last-minute call wasn't the only 
unusual twist to his Dune casting. "I learned 
later how it had come about," Stewart ad- 

mits. "David Lynch, the director, asked 
Raffaella, 'Do you remember that time we 
were in the Green Room at the RSC?' They 
had gone to see a young actor for another 
role. 'Do you remember standing in the 
queue [the line] there was this man? And I 
asked who it was?' And that was how they 
came to me," Stewart shakes his head in 
wonder, "because David Lynch had a 
memory of my face in a queue." 

New to Stewart's command in the second 
season is the mixologist life form Guinan 
(Whoopi Goldberg). 

warmaster of Dune 

In Frank Herbert's Dune, one of the 
recognized masterworks of science-fiction 
literature, Gurney Halleck is an important 
character. But in the David Lynch film ver- 
sion, Halleck's role is somewhat diminished. 
"Oh yes," Stewart agrees, "the role was 
never as important or as significant in the 
film as in the book. But the book is so huge 
that editing was necessary. 

"Two scenes in particular were shot but 
never made it into the film. In one, 1 played 
a baliset — which took me weeks of lessons 
from Sting to learn the art of fingering. In 
the other scene, I improvised poetry. 
Halleck is a musician, poet and warrior. 
Those scenes were closely linked to the all- 
encompassing nature of giving Gurney 
Halleck some personality. Well, all you real- 
ly saw of him was the warrior side; those 
other two key elements were not in the 

"1 think that David Lynch did shoot the 
book, but it just didn't get on the screen. 
There was a lot missing: the death of Dr. 
Kynes (Max von Sydow), the death of 
Thufir Hawat (Freddie Jones). It's a good 
film, but I suspect there's an even better film 
in all that David shot. I hope that someday 
someone will put together a more effective 
version of Dune." (Another version of 
Dune, prepared by MCA TV, has since been 
broadcast in TV syndication. It restores 
some of the discarded footage, but has been 
disowned by director Lynch). 

Stewart's impressions of Lynch 
(STARLOG #87) are concise. "I didn't 
know David well. I didn't get close to him," 
he says. "David's charming, a little abstract 
in his manner. He works so closely in images 
and very often, I felt that I was doing a pic- 
ture with him involving just how something 

STARLOG/ February 1989 39 

v 4 ^®' 

On Dune, the advisers to the House 
Atreides were Gurney Halleck (Stewart), Dr. 
Yueh (Dean Stockwell) and Thufir Hawat 
(Freddie Jones). 

watch him work. His Blue Velvet is, I think, 
probably a masterpiece. The Elephant Man 
is one of my most favorite films; I've run it 
regularly. All my family has seen it, a 
wonderful film. 

"My memories of Dune have largely to 
do with discomfort," he laughs. "Excalibur 
was not fun either. It was physically so un- 
comfortable. We just exchanged the suits of 
armor from Excalibur for the stillsuits of 
Dune. The grimmest scene in Dune was the 
time we were on location in Northern Mex- 
ico and we were running up and down those 
dunes in stillsuits. We were locked into those 
suits of quilted rubber in terrific heat. Also, 
I remember being in the ornithopter — in 
fact, the first scene that I ever shot for 
Dune — watching a steady flow of perspira- 
tion drip off Max von Sydow's fingers. 

"There was discomfort much of the time, 
but delight to work with such talented per- 
formers: Sian Phillips, whom I had worked 
with on /, Claudius; Francesca Annis, 
whom I knew from the RSC; and Freddie 
Jones, whom I worked with in England. I 
didn't know Sting, Max von Sydow, Dean 
Stockwell and Kyle MacLachlan [see inter- 
views, respectively, in STARLOG #101, 82, 
90 & 89]. Kyle and I have become close 
friends. It was an extraordinarily talented 
group of people." 



Though accosted here by Steve Railsback and Peter Firth, Stewart still terms Lifeforce 
"one of his best experiences as an actor." 

Stewart's friendship with Dune 
cinematographer Freddie Francis led to 
another movie. Francis, a noted director of 
horror films for Hammer and others 
(FANGORIA #54), returned to the direc- 
torial helm for The Doctor and the Devils, 
starring Timothy (The Living Daylights) 
Dalton as the surgeon who deals with Burke 
and Hare-like graverobbers Jonathan 
(Brazil) Pryce and Stephen Rea. "It was nice 
to do a film with Freddie as director," 
Stewart remarks. "I had a very small part. I 
played the anatomy professor, the voice of 
malice, the one out to get Tim Dalton." 

Knight of the Ages 

Stewart's cinematic trips to the past have 
taken him to another tragic footnote in 
English history. In 1985's Lady Jane, he 
portrayed nobleman Henry Grey who helps 
force his young daughter into a royal mar- 
riage which will make her Queen of 
England, a short-lived monarch who will 
only rule for nine days. "I had unease from 
the very first time I heard about the 
project," Stewart admits. "It was directed 
by a man I know very well, the stage director 
Trevor Nunn. He has only done two films 
and I've been in both of them — the other 
was Hedda [a movie version of the RSC 
production of Hedda Cabler] with Glenda 

"Maybe the time wasn't right for a period 
costume drama like Lady Jane. It's not the 
kind of movie that's successful now, a very, 
very hard sell. It's a shame because it's a 
wonderful story and a very nicely made film 
with some superb performances. Of course, 
it launched the careers of Helena Bonham 
Carter and Cary Elwes. Elwes' performance 
as [the hero Westley] in The Princess Bride 
is, by the way, just awesome in a cast of 

strong performances. I'm delighted to see 
films like The Princess Bride. Anything that 
a writer like William Goldman would be in- 
volved in would be worthwhile. Writing is 
the strength of any project. If the script isn't 
good, then you'll be doing a cellophane job 
from day one, patching it up, trying to cover 
the holes." 

Stewart also took up the blade in a world 
of swashbuckling fantasy, albeit in the grim, 
muddy and bloody Camelot of 1981 's Ex- 
calibur. "It has some of the finest images 
I've seen on the screen," notes Stewart, who 
played Leodegranz, "especially those early 
sequences before the Golden Age arrives 
when it shifts from black to silver armor. 

"Again, at that time, I found the direc- 
tor, John Boorman, a little remote, very, 
very preoccupied with images and the look 
of the film. But those were the early days of 
filming for me and I was probably a little 
timid. I enjoyed my character and the 
writing very much. And I was working with 
people I had known for a long time, like 
Helen Mirren who I had known for 20 
years. In that sense, the acting community is 
very small. There's an obvious benefit to 
having worked together over an extended 
time. It's the same with Star Trek. There's 
such a relaxed sense of creativity on our set. 
From the first day, it seemed as if we all 
knew each other." 

His other venture in science fiction came 
as Dr. Armstrong in 1984's Lifeforce, 
directed by Tobe (Texas Chainsaw 
Massacre) Hooper (STARLOG #96). "I 
have to say, of the movies we've been 
discussing," Stewart remarks, "Tobe 
Hooper was the director to whom I got 
closest. I liked him very much and I admired 
his work. As compared to my experiences 
with David Lynch and John Boorman, 

40 STARLOG/ February 1989 

Photo: Graham Atwood/Copyright 1986 Capital Equipment Leasing LtdJCourtesy Paramount 

Tobe was much more accessible. And even 
though my part was not large, he spent a lot 
of time with me. He was a very good listener 
and he would incorporate the actors' ideas. 
He's very flexible. Tobe's an interesting 
man, very enthusiastic, very much a 
presence on the set. Lifeforce was one of the 
best experiences I've had as an actor." 

However, Stewart doesn't let his enjoy- 
ment of the filming color his view of its box 
office failure. "They tried to impose pro- 
duction values on the top of Lifeforce which 
I thought unbalanced what was, in fact, 
quite a small-scale story about individuals," 
he says. "That whole extended section 
showing the destruction of London was 
from another movie. When I saw it, I was 

Captain of "Enterprise" 

Dune, Lifeforce and Excalibur are fine, 
but it is, after all, Star Trek: The Next 
Generation that interests most fans. Stewart 
first caught the eye of that show's producers 
at a lecture at UCLA (STARLOG #124), 
meeting with Gene Roddenberry in October 
1986 as the series was slowly shaped. 

"I didn't meet anyone from Star Trek 
again until April 1987. I assumed I would be 
part of a new crew. It was only a few weeks 
before my final reading," Stewart says, 
"that I knew I was being considered for the 
role of the captain. He's a man of authority, 
of responsibility. I was fascinated with the 
idea of playing a man of such power. 

"Actually, I knew what Star Trek was. I 
had watched it with my children. But I 
didn't know what role Star Trek played, 
particularly in this country, in every area of 
social, cultural and political life. This was 
first made clear to me in the week that I ac- 
cepted the part. A friend of mine in Los 
Angeles asked, 'Patrick, how does it feel, to 
be going to play an American icon?' 

"That's one of the blessings for me — I 
hadn't really known that when I was cast. 
So, for the first time, I had a sense of what 
this particular role meant to this country. I 
was a little unnerved by that. I'm not sure 
that Picard will have quite the same 
significance as Kirk — probably only because 
the character I play is European and the 
captain's role has been subdivided with 
Number One leading the Away Teams." 

Almost as soon as he was signed, the 
comparisons to William Shatner and James 
T. Kirk began. "I never had a problem 
about Captain Kirk," Stewart avers. "Many 
other people tried to impose a problem on 
me. I was uneasy about that. It was par- 
ticularly true of the media. They were 
forever trying to set up confrontations. I 
was highly conscious of that. 

"Until our show aired, every meeting, 
every interview, every contact on the street 
was always, 'How is your show going to be 
different? How are you going to compare? 
Are you the new Captain Kirk?' Those were 
impossible questions to answer. I knew what 
we were doing had a totally different per- 
sonality. With Star Trek: The Next Genera- 
tion, we are not replacing anyone; we are 
simply what we are. What had been before 

Henry (Stewart) and Frances Grey (Sara 
Kestelman), the ambitious Duke and 
Duchess of Suffolk, persuade their 
daughter Lady Jane (Helena Bonham 
Carter) that she must marry. 

is still there. Nothing has been taken away; it 
will always be there. 

"For 25 years, I've been playing roles in 
Shakespeare that actors have been playing 
for 400 years before me and that will be 
played by actors long after I'm dead. So, 
what is there to get upset about?" 

With The Next Generation firmly 
established, Stewart isn't bothered so much 
anymore with constant Kirk allusions. In- 
stead, there are constant inquiries as to what 
lies ahead in the rest of the second 
season — with its addition of new characters 
played by Diana Muldaur and Whoopi 
Goldberg. Fans wonder about recurring 
plotlines, returning guest stars and refining 

"Picard's going to become wittier," 
Stewart predicts, "more abrasive at times. 
And I hope he'll have an opportunity to 
become more physically involved in the ac- 
tion on Away Teams. The character's 
growth has been a fundamental and integral 
part of every day's work since the series 
began. It's a philosophy of mine that the 
worst thing an actor can do is to bore his au- 
dience. I want to develop Picard and help 
him grow over what I hope will be an ex- 
tended period of time. 

"When I was a very young actor, I believ- 
ed that a performance meant stepping on a 
stage and telling the audience everything. 
Now, with each episode, I try with the 
writers to work in something new about 
Picard, something that expands the au- 
dience's knowledge of who this man is. I 
don't know much more about him than they 
do — except that I've done a few more 
episodes that they haven't seen yet. Even- 
tually, we both know the same person. 

A knight to remember, Stewart tries his 
luck at pulling Excalibur from its 
enchanted stone. 

"If I'm doing my job properly, the au- 
dience will know things about Picard that I 
don 't know and never will know. If acting is 
the endeavor it should be, it must be open to 
the possibilities for the audience to have in- 
sight into the character. The audience can 
see things that are not planned to be there." 

Now that Data has had his elementary 
turn as the redoubtable Sherlock Holmes, 
Stewart, a mystery buff who numbers classic 
detective writer Raymond Chandler among 
his heroes, is looking for another case of his 
(continued on page 72) 

STARLOG/ February 1989 41 


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(continued from page 11) 

Genre People: Special FX wizard Rob 
{Legend) Bottin (STARLOG #103) will 
direct an action-adventure. Yes, he'll be 
Raising Hell. 

Stan Winston, another FX ace, is going 
Upworld. Winston's first film as a director 
was Pumpkinhead. With Upworld, he takes 
on another kind of fantasy, teaming an ex- 
cop with a gnome, all to solve crime. Will 
they discover "Something is Down There?" 
The $7.5 million film stars Weird Science's 
Anthony Michael Hall (STARLOG #98). A 
Christmas release is planned. 

Due out at the same time is Dark Angel, a 
$12 million SF adventure teaming two bud- 
dy cops to fight alien baddies. One of the 
heroes is He-Man himself, Dolph Lundgren. 

Peter {Spacehunter) Strauss (STARLOG 
#72) will star in the projected four-hour TV 
mini-series version of Philip Wylie's The 
Disappearance. The book was a longtime 
favorite of legendary producer George Pal 
who had hoped to film it for years. Genre 
veteran Richard Matheson (STARLOG 
#100) is scripting this adaptation. 

Screenwriter Sam Hamm (COMICS 
SCENE #3) has scripted the film versions of 
Batman and Watchmen. Next up: The 
Avengers. No, not Marvel's heroic comic 
book group, but John Steed and colleagues. 

Sequels: The phenomenal success of the 
unaccountably popular Mannequin starring 
Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall has 
bred a follow-up. It's Mannequin on the 
Move, due to lense in Philadelphia soon. 

The Never-Ending Story II has a director. 
He's George Miller. No, not the Mad Max 
George Miller (interviewed in STARLOG 
#98), but the other George Miller, a second 
Australian filmmaker with the same name 
who helmed The Man from Snowy River. 

Ghostbusters II has a new title: The Last 
of the Ghostbusters. This suggestion of 
finality seems to be a popular new trend. 
Witness: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier 
and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. 

It's probable, due to the fact that filming 
is now scheduled to start only next month, 
that Back to the Future II will not premiere 
early this summer. A late summer or even 
Christmas release is more likely. 

That proposed Romancing the Stone/- 
Jewel of the Nile follow-up tentatively 
known as The Crimson Eagle has been 
delayed indefinitely. Kathleen Turner, 
Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito haven't 
tired of working with each other, though. 
Turner and Douglas are starring in The War 
of the Roses. DeVito directs. 

John Carpenter's proposed sequel Escape 
from LA is not necessarily dead. Although it 
was considered doomed by De Laurentiis 
Entertainment Group's financial troubles, it 
has emerged as still a viable movie. It's 
among the projects planned by the un- 
troubled (financially) DEG subsidiary, Onyx 
Entertainment. So, Snake Plissken may yet 
return. Lock up your silverware. 

— David McDonnell 

(continued from page 21) 

The Mystery of the Yellow Room is full 
of Gothic atmosphere and, despite the ra- 
tional explanation provided at the end, 
leaves many questions unanswered. So, 
Leroux wrote a sequel the following year, Le 
Parfum de la Dame en Noir {The Perfume 
of the Lady in Black). 

Leroux continued the Rouletabille series 
until his death in 1927. In all, it comprised 
Rouletabille Chez le Tsar {Rouletabille and 
the Tsar), in which Leroux drew heavily on 
his Russian memories; Le Chateau Noir 
{The Black Castle); Les Et ranges Noces de 
Rouletabille {The Strange Wedding of 
Rouletabille); Rouletabille Chez Krupp 
{Rouletabille and Krupp), which was 
published in 1917 and, like many other 
works of the time, exhibits a strong anti- 
German attitude; Le Crime de Rouletabille 
{Rouletabil/e's Crime); and Rouletabille 
Chez les Bohemiens {Rouletabille and the 

After Leroux's death, two other 
Rouletabille novels were written by Nore 
Brunei, Rouletabille Contre la Dame de Pi- 
que {Rouletabille vs. the Queen of Spades) 
and Rouletabille Joue et Gagne 
{Rouletabille Plays and Wins). 

The Rouletabille adventures contain a 
good share of fantasy elements, even though 
they are usually explained away by the hero 
in the end. Their ghosts and other super- 
natural occurrences are only the trappings of 
premeditated murder. However, it was in his 
other works that Leroux's talent for the 
macabre truly blossomed. 

Because he had been a journalist, Gaston 
Leroux wrote his novels as if they were fact. 
He often gave the exact dates of the events 
that he was narrating, and sometimes drew 
maps of the places involved (as in The 
Mystery of the Yellow Room). Several items 
reported by Leroux in his Russian articles 
found their way, almost word for word, into 
Rouletabille and the Tsar. Ballmeyer, 
Rouletabille's father and the villain in The 
Perfume of the Lady in Black, was based on 
the real-life international criminal Allmeyer, 
whose exploits were reported in Le Figaro 
the same year. 

Phantasmic Phantoms 

A characteristic of journalistic style is to 
place an emphasis on the sensational, a trait 
that was particularly apparent in Leroux's 
fiction. Both his subjects and his narrative 
techniques were larger-than-life. One of 
Leroux's trademarks, for example, was the 
use of what the French critics called "small, 
italicized phrases": 

"The dwarf saluted Mr. Baptiste with one 
of his left hands." 

"Did the Gypsies steal you from your 
parents?" "No. It was my parents who stole 
me from the Gypsiesi" 

"Soon, having encountered a skull with a 
lighted candle in its left eye, I decided that 
we were finally entering the empire of the 

"Why is it that an honest clock strikes 
midnight at a quarter past two?" 

With these, he transformed reality into 
something bizarre. Their frequent usage 
added a poetic atmosphere to Leroux's 
work, but they were also a perfect instru- 
ment to bring out the fantasy of his themes. 

Le Fantome de /'Opera {The Phantom of 
the Opera, 191 1) presents the truly unforget- 
table Erik. Artist and magician, Erik lives in 
a fantastic world that exists beneath the 
Paris Opera, which he in part built, one 
filled with such bizarre marvels as an 
underground lake, hordes of rats led by a 
mysterious figure, and even a torture 
chamber which reproduces the horrors of 
the Mongolian Steppes. 

Due to its larger-than-life characters and 
its completely surrealistic decor, Phantom 
has made a profound impression on all who 
have read the book or seen one of the many 
film versions. In fact, as late as 1972, an 
English woman wrote to Leroux's heirs to 
let them know that she intended to discover 
the secret hiding place where Erik had left 
his final opera, Don Juan Triumphant. 

In La Poupee Sanglante {The Bleeding 
Puppet) and La Machine a Assassiner {The 
Killing Machine, both 1923), Leroux in- 
troduced Gabriel, a man-shaped robot. Its 
inventor, Benedict Masson, wrongly accus- 
ed of the murders of several young girls, is 
guillotined. However, he has arranged to 
have his brain transplanted into the body of 
Gabriel and comes back to destroy the true 
killer, a vampiric marquis. 

Le Fauteuil Hante {The Haunted Chair, 
1910) features a mad scientist who uses 
ultrasound and ultraviolet light to kill three 
academicians who discover his secret. It is 
his demented son, whom he has imprisoned, 
who's the real genius and inventor. 

The death of Crown Prince Rudolph at 
Mayerling and the secrets of the Gypsies are 
the subjects of two novels, La Reine du Sab- 
bat {The Queen of the Sabbath, 1910) and 
Rouletabille and the Gypsies (1922). In 
them, Gaston Leroux revealed that World 
War I was actually caused in part by feuding 
clans of Gypsies. The strange cultural tradi- 
tions of the Romany are examined in such 
detail by Leroux that it's almost possible to 
believe that he was one of them. 

Among the other themes explored by 
Leroux are undersea combat in La Bataille 
Invisible {The Invisible Battle, 1917), can- 
nibalism in Le Coeur Cambriole {The Stolen 
Heart, 1920), an underground king of Paris 
in Le Roi Mystere {The Mysterious King, 
1908) and an intelligent primate found in the 
French mountains in Balaoo (191 1). 

Leroux knew, as perhaps no one else in 
his day, how to draw on reality to enhance 
his fiction. Through the clever inclusion of 
footnotes or events reported in the papers, 
he created the illusion of reality. 

The Phantom of the Opera, The Queen 
of the Sabbath and several Rouletabille 
stories, contained names or occurrences that 
truly existed. The Opera's chandelier did 
crash. The Queen of the Sabbath did exist. 
With Gaston Leroux, one is never quite sure 
where reality stops and fantasy begins. i;i 

STARLOG/ February 1989 43 






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Starlog Press, 475 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 

Villains plotted. Heroes struggled. Galaxies died, 
novelist could write a new chapter in science fiction with 
tales of Lensmen & the Skylark of Space. 

Thousands upon thousands of stories 
have been written over the past half- 
century in which men and women 
from Earth have traveled out beyond our 
solar system, throughout our galaxy, even 
into other galaxies, and to the ends of the 
universe. On the way, they have met and be- 
friended — or fought to the death — countless 
alien entities, confronted monstrous life 
forms, and discovered civilizations and tech- 
nologies of incredible dimensions. The ad- 
venturers, warriors or explorers from our 
own home world, have generally been good- 
looking, courageous and intelligent — heroes 
and heroines all (mostly). Richard Seaton 
and Dorothy and Martin Crane and 
Margaret were the ones who showed the 
way. They, and that most important arch- 
villain Blackie DuQuesne, were the charac- 
ters in the 1928 worlds-shaking first novel of 
E.E. "Doc" Smith, The Skylark of Space. 
A spaceship two miles long? That was the 
size Of Skylark III, "constructed" in three 
classic issues of Amazing Stories, almost 50 
years before the gigantic battlewagons in 
Star Wars. Everything Doc Smith wrote was 
on a gigantic scale. During his writing years, 
especially with the creation of his Lensmen 
series, his machines grew ever larger, his 
human beings grew more heroic, his space 
fleet skirmishes expanded into far-flung 
conflicts, the universal conspiracy of evil 
proved to be more and more insidious, his 
plots more complex, his many strange, 
spellbinding worlds more fascinating. As 
enormously successful as movie special ef- 
fects experts and their techniques have 
become, only in the printed word, so far, 
can the full scope of the imagination of 
Smith and his colleagues past and present be 
fullv savored. 

Who was the legendary Doc Smith? How 
did he become the writer whom SF 
historians consider the father of the "space 
opera"? What brought about his body of 
work which opened up the entire universe to 
the human race and set off the explosion of 
our unfettered imagination? 

Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D., born in 
Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1890, was raised in 
a riverside home in Idaho. Lloyd Arthur 
Eshbach, Fantasy Press editor and the 


original hardcover book publisher of 
Smith's work, wonders (in his 1983 book, 
Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science 
Fiction Era) if Smith's early experien- 

ces — starting at age 15, as lumberjack, pota- 
to farmer, street car conductor, apprentice 
civil engineer, ore miner, etc., and ending 
with a traumatic escape from a midnight 


by E. E.SMITH, Ph.D. 

'Skylark' Smith back — with the greatest story of his career!"— Astounding 

ST. ARLOG/ February 1989 45 



Combining "wild stuff and scientific stuff" 
with a love story produced The Skylark of 
Space in 1921. 

fire — might have turned him into "Skylark 
Smith," food chemist and SF writer. 

"One night, asleep in his fourth-floor 
bedroom, he awakened surrounded by 
flames, his bed afire," Eshbach writes. 
"With lightning reflexes and his powerful 
legs (from months of walking in the 
wilderness of Montana and Canada, helping 
to survey a railroad line), he made a single 
leap that carried him through the closed 
window, taking sash and glass with him. In 
the fall, he suffered a broken leg, fractured 
ribs, and a damaged wrist that gave him 
problems for years afterward and prohibited 
any hard physical labor. Ted Smith headed 
for home — and back to school." 

Not only did he get his degree in chemical 
engineering, he got a wife, Jeannie Craig 
MacDougall, his roommate's sister. It was 
his beloved bride who worked as a 
stenographer to help Doc Smith earn his 
doctorate. When World War 1 came along 
in 1917, he wanted to be an aviator, was 
turned down, and became a research 
specialist to find out how to make bread 
without flour. This led, after the war, to his 
chemistry work on fully prepared'flours and 
a research laboratory plus the title of 
"Director of Research." He has been iden- 
tified ever since with, of all things, 

One day in 1915, shortly after his mar- 
riage, he told his close friends and neighbors 
about "the fundamentals of The Skylark of 
Space." According to Smith himself: 

DA V1D KYLE is the author of A Pictorial 
History of Science Fiction, The Illustrated 
Book of Science Fiction Ideas & Dreams, 
and new adventures in E.E. "Doc" Smith 's 
Lensman series. His memoir of the days of 
First Fandom appeared in STARLOG #110. 

An inspiration to filmmakers and a fan himself, E.E. "Doc" Smith was a catalyst for 
SF's evolution into celluloid. 

"Mrs. Garby asked, 'Why don't you 
write that up as a book, Ted?' 

" 'Can't, Lee,' I replied. 'Got to have a 
love story to write a book; 1 don't see how a 
love story would fit in with that stuff.' 

" 'Well, you write the wild stuff, and the 
scientific stuff, and I'll put in the love story.' 

"Thus was Skylark born. Lee and 1 work- 
ed on it, off and on, for months, ably 
assisted by Dr. Garby, a mathematical 
physicist of no mean attainments, and my 
wife Jean .... Gradually, however, the em- 
bryonic masterpiece was abandoned." 

In 1919, Smith "stumbled upon the 
outline. . .and by dint of much cor- 
respondence with Mrs. Garby, it was finally 
finished in 1921. The Skylark of Space 
traveled from one publisher to another, its 
travels producing what is probably the most 
complete collection of rejection slips 
extant." And in the meantime, "I began to 
work on [Sky/ark] Three. Finally, however, 
1 heard of [the SF pulp magazine] Amazing 
Stories, who accepted the novel and wanted 
its sequel. Since neither Amazing Stories nor 
1 had any idea of the enthusiastic reception 
to be accorded the stories, 1 blithely cleaned 
up alt loose ends in Three and began work 
on Spacehounds of IPC " 

indeed, the Skylark story brought on a 
flood of favorable mail to Hugo 
Gernsback's magazine. Smith's work was 
something new: adventure with epic scope. 

"This is the first novel ever written dealing 
with atomic power and a voyage beyond 
the stars."— F.F.F. Publishers 

46 STARLOG/February 1989 

pseudo-scientific story, one which would 
not even pretend to be limited by such trifles 
as scientific plausibility; and for over a year, 
1 let my pencil run vviid between spells of 
really hard work upon the heavy framework 
of the new Skylark. ... It has all the ideas 1 
considered too wild for either the Skylarks 
or Spacehounds. " 

The new Skylark of Valeron began to ap- 
pear in seven parts in the revitalized As- 
tounding of August 1934, but Smith never 
suspected that the orphan Triplaneiary 
would, under the editorial urging of Fantasy 
Press editor Lloyd A. Eshbach, become in 
1948 the book-length prelude of the 
Lensmen series, which would become 
Smith's masterpiece as his "Epic of Space" 
or "The History of Civilization." 

The Lensman series was an unusual proj- 
ect. Smith planned a quartet of novels, flow- 
ing one into the other, which would develop 
an interstellar military force to defend all 

On the contemporary scene, Edmond 

Hamilton (STARLOG #115) could have 

claimed to be the originator of the space 

opera. He wrote a magazine serial in which 

The League of Planets discovers that 

monstrous natives of a rogue sun's planets 

intend to drive two stars together to generate 

energy. They're blocked by a spaceship fleet 

from Earth which destroys the rogue star. 

The first part of the story, "Crashing 

Suns," was published in Weird Tales in 

August 1928, the very same month that 

Skylark first appeared in Amazing. A bit 

later, Hamilton wrote Outside the Universe, 

which, of course, is the ultimate setting. His 

whole series of space opera novels, publish- 
ed in quarterly issues of Captain Future 

magazine, brought the space opera form in- 
to acceptance beginning in 1940. 

As Smith and Hamilton first began their 

interstellar work, Jack Williamson, the 

award-winning writer and Grand Master of 

the Science Fiction Writers of America, was 

rocketing out into the galaxy with such 
novels as The Legion of Space. The much- 
honored editor, John W. Campbell, Jr., 
also became a practitioner of this action- 
packed super-science genre. Although Olaf 
Stapledon began exploring all of time and all 
of space in his Last and First Men: A Story 
of the Near and Far Future ( 1 930) and Star 
Maker (1937), he was beyond the Smith- 
Hamilton-Williamson-Campbell slam-bang 
arena. Stapledon 's sweep and scope is vastly 
impressive, but his work is more 
philosophical and his style carefully literary' 
and not at all the joyous romp of the others. 
Smith's story' of the genesis of Skylark 
and his collaboration with Mrs. Garby 
comes from an interview with Julius 
Schwartz in the August 1933 fan magazine 
Science Fiction Digest. Schwartz is one of 
the original members of First Fandom 
(STARLOG #115), a longtime DC Comics 
Superman editor, and one of the first SF 
literary agents. In the Digest interview, Doc 
Smith stated, "1 abandoned the Skylarks 
deliberately because the original and fun- 
damental concepts were essentially pseudo- 
scientific and in many places, grazed the im- 
possible altogether too closely for comfort 
or defense. Also, 1 retained in Spacehounds 
the same characters in essence because they 
were real people, whom I knew and loved. 1, 
myself, consider Spacehounds the best story 
of science fiction 1 have written." 

In Spacehounds of IPC, Doc Smith 
thought he was putting the Skylark crew 
behind him. He wanted to present an adven- 
ture more firmly grounded in science and f 
with a degree of plausibility not found in his | 
first work. He limited the action to our solar ». 
svstem and toned down the "sosh-wow" # 
flamboyance of the extravagant excursions -o 
into deepest space. It was successful, but not 5 
really what the readers wanted from Doc « 
Smith in 1931. f 


Triplaneiary was announced for As- Q 
founding Stories in 1933, but appeared as a o 
four-part serial in Amazing in 1934. a 
However, Smith didn't consider it science Dealing with the best special FX company ever created, Doc Smith's fertile 
fiction because it was "an out-and-out imagination brought something new to the field, adventure on an epic scale. 

"Part Two of the greatest story of the 
Skylark series."— Astounding 

"Beginning Dr. Smith's finest contribution 
to science fiction." — Astounding 

S civilized entities against an infernal alien 
£ super power. Incredibly, Doc Smith actually 

* had in mind the ending of the fourth book 
£ before he even began the first. The publica- 
2 tion of Galactic Patrol, beginning in 1937, 
2 was chronologically the first. There followed 
%, Gray Lensman (1939), Second Stage 
k Lensman (1941), and Children of the Lens 
« (1947), ail serialized in Astounding. In the 
| 1 950s, Fantasy Press brought all four out in 

* hardcovers. Pyramid paperbacks followed 
■g in the 1960s. Today, they are all in print, 
s published by Berkley in paperback. 

* What is a Lensman, anyhow? Let Doc 
< Smith tell you himself: 

"The most outstanding Lensman, the 
'Unattached' or 'Gray Lensman* from the 

9TARI nr./Fvhr 

sulation, molds and shields snapped into 
place, and there flared out an instantly sup- 
pressed flash of brilliance intolerable. Then 
the molds fell apart, the insulation was 
removed, and there was revealed the Lens. 
Clasped to Kinnison's brawny wrist by a 
bracelet of imperishable, almost un- 
breakable, metal in which it was imbedded, 
it shone in all its lambent splendor— no 
longer a whitely inert piece of jewelry, but a 
lenticular polychrome of writhing, almost 
fluid, radiance which proclaimed to all 
observers in symbols of ever-changing flame 
that here was a Lensman of the Galactic 

Smith used the Patrol and Mentor of 
Arisia to break out of our own provincial 
planetary system into the dazzling vastness 
of deep space. And Kimball Kinnison 
became the hero of all heroes. Although 

"From the first dramatically written 
paragraph, the feeling begins— and 
stays— that 'Doc' Smith is back!"— A.E. 
Van Vogt on David Kyle's first Lensmen. 

color of the leather of the uniform he wears, 
is as nearly absolutely free an agent as it is 
possible for any flesh-and-blood being to be. 
He is responsible to no one and to nothing, 
save his own conscience. He is no longer of 
Earth, nor of the Solarian System, but of 
the Universe as a whole. He is no longer a 
cog in the immense machine of the Galactic 
Patrol; wherever he may go throughout the 
reaches of unbounded space, he is the 
Galactic Patrol! 

"He goes anywhere he pleases and does 
anything he pleases, for as long as he 
pleases. He takes what he wants, when he 
wants it, with or without giving reasons or 
anything except a thumb-printed credit slip 
in return— if he chooses to do so. He reports 
when, where, and to whom he pleases— or 
not, as he pleases. He has no headquarters, 
no address; he can be reached only through 
his Lens. He no longer gets even a normal 
salary; he takes that, too, as he goes, 
whatever he finds needful. But only a Gray 
Lensman really understands what a 
frightful, what a man-killing load his Unat- 
tached status brings with it." 

As for the Lens he wears, it is a unique 
"jewel" composed of thousands of tiny 
crystalloids, built to match his individual life 
force. The Lens, its inner light ever- 
changing, is singularly designed to be in cir- 
cuit with its wearer. That pseudo-life of the 
Lens acts as a telepath through which its 
owner may communicate with any other in- 
telligence, high or low. 

Kimball Kinnison, on his way to becom- 
ing the greatest of all Lensmen, is chosen by 
Mentor, the fusion of the four Moulders of 
Civilization, guardians of the universe (from 
Galactic Patrol): 

"His forearm was wrapped in thick in- 

immense variety of its visions and con- 
cepts—which are as varied as the potential 
of humanity is varied and as multifold as the 
stars in the sky. It is this harvest of wonders, 
this garden of marvels, this vision of what 
could be and what could have been that 
makes science fiction so different and makes 
its readers marked for life in out-of-the-rut 
trains of thought." And then he barely nods 
in Doc Smith's direction by one noncom- 
mittal phrase that John Campbell, around 
1933, was "at that time one of the best 
writers of space opera of the '30s— his 
novels rivaled those of Edward E. Smith in 

style and popularity " That's it! 

Other respected critics are much more 
than indifferent; they are harsh. In the ex- 
cellent critical guide to SF, Anatomy of 
Wonder: Science Fiction by Neil Barron 
(Bowker, 1976), the statement is made: 
"What appeared in pulp magazines and 
hardcover alike was often incredibly bad by 
modern standards.... Typical is E.E. 
Smith's space opera... the Skylark 

series " As for Spacehounds of IPC, it 

"might instill a sense of wonder in the 
reader, despite some of the worst pulp prose 
ever to see print." The critic, in a passion of 
loathing, calls the writing "execrable." Such 
exaggerated, unfair and inaccurate hyper- 
bola is, unfortunately, all too often found 
larded into today's criticism. That same 
critic in the same book mixes up his 
references to Skylark of Space and Skylark 
Three and misleadingly describes John 
Campbell's retrospective remarks as "one of 
the most acid comments ever penned about 
Skylark of Space" without acknowledging 
that Campbell has also said, ". . .however, 
my personal opinion has always been that 
Skylark of Space was the best story of scien- 
(continued on page 57) 

Kyle continued his adventures of the 
Second Stage Lensmen with Tregonsee, 
the Lensman from Rigel. 

Skylark came first, (and credited by Lester 
del Rev as "the first space opera" which 
"remains one of the great classics of the 
field" despite being "hardly an example of 
good writing" with stilted conversation and 
thin characterization), the Lensmen series 
wins the highest laurels. 

To many science-fiction profession- £ 
a [ s — mostly the critics— Edward E. Smith, 3 
Ph. D. is an irritating puzzlement. They see Z 
him as a barely competent writer spewing | 
forth wild, even ridiculous ideas. Even % 
Donald A. Wollheim, noted professional * 
(and publisher of DAW Books) who grew 
up reading Doc Smith in the pulp maga- 
zines, hesitates to consider Smith among the 
multitude of "the most important and most 
fascinating writers of the genre." Wollheim 
says, "Science fiction, then, is judged by the 

"The strangest of all Second Stage 
Lensmen is Nadreck, the multidimensional 
extraterrestrial guardian of Palain VII."— Z 

AS CTAPI CiC/Fehrunrv 1QR9 


Lois Lane 

Part Two 


The beloved "Daily Planet" reporter files a final scoop on her 
memorable "Adventures with Superman." 

It has been almost 40 years since Phyllis 
Coates' Lois Lane last punched in at the 
Metropolis Daily Planet, but to diehard 
fans of The Adventures of Superman, the 
veteran actress and the classic character she 
played are inextricably linked. 

In Part One of STARLOG's exclusive 
chat with fandom's favorite reporter, Phyllis 
Coates shares memories of the Superman 
and the Mole-Men feature, her first impres- 
sions of Man of Steel George Reeves and 
behind-the-scenes reminiscences of Super- 
man production personnel. In this con- 
cluding part, she talks candidly about her 
Superman co-stars, her strenuous stint as a 
jungle serial queen, the personal problems 
which stunted her '50s career and her plans 
for a bright new acting future. 

STARLOG: What were your impressions of 
Jack Larson [STARLOG #130-131]? 
PHYLLIS COATES: Jack is a swell guy, 
and we got along great together. The last 
time I saw him we were in Brentwood, 
which is where he lives; he keeps busy 
writing these days. 

STARLOG: Any memories of John 

COATES: John was great. John liked 
everybody, he was a big — he just told 
stories and laughed and roared and carried 
on. Very sweet — everybody liked John. He 
was a bit older than most of the other 
players, and we certainly all honored that. 
Everybody was very considerate of John. 
STARLOG: How about Inspector Hender- 
son, Robert Shayne [STARLOG #129]? 

COATES: I got along great with Bob; in 
fact, I'm still a very, very close friend of his 
daughter Stephanie, who's a good actress, 
by the way. I did a play with Stephanie 
about 10 years ago: I played her mother in 
Never Too Late, which we did down in 
Palm Springs. Steph is a very good actress, 
very beautiful gal. Whenever I have an inter- 
view that takes me to LA, I go and stay with 
Steph and her husband. 
STARLOG: Like Jeff Corey, Bob Shayne 
got caught up in those McCarthy investiga- 
COATES: I remember the day they busted 

TOM WEAVER, veteran STARLOG cor- 
respondent, began this two-part interview 
with Phyllis Coates in issue #138. 

START OG/Fehruarv 1989 49 

In the Republic serials, Coates brought her 
feistiness to the Panther Girl of the Kongo. 

Bob— the day the Feds took him off the set. 
I was early in the morning, 7:30 or 8:00, 
George and I were walking along and 
George looked down and said, "Those two 
guys with Bob are heat." I said, "How can 
you tell?" and he said, "I just know." So 
we went right down to the set, where 
everybody was in a state of shock, and we 
found out what it was all about— an ex-wife 
of Shayne's turned him in. Well, this was 
one time when I really saw George with his 
dander up. We went to [producer] Bob Max- 
well, and George raised hell. And Maxwell, 
who was a bleeding-heart liberal, got right 
on it — I mean, everybody moved as fast as 
they could. We wrote letters, we did 
everything. This wrecked Bob's career— he 
had to go into insurance, and there were 
some rough years there for him. 

That was the only time I had ever seen 
production stopped on Superman, the only 
time that anybody ever slowed down for 
anything. We didn't get going until late in 
the morning, and ordinarily, we would have 
been in front of those cameras by 8:00, 
sometimes a little bit before. This stopped 
production dead. 

«n QTARI na/Fphrunrv 1989 

STARLOG: Was there any danger of 
Shayne being bumped from Superman! 
COATES: No, everybody hung on: George, 
myself, Maxwell, we all took a strong stand. 
STARLOG: Shayne feels very hurt that 
Jack Larson downplays his contribution to 
the show, and that he tells people Shayne 
wasn't a part of the Superman "family." 
COATES: Yes, he was\ Number one, 
George liked Bob very much, and they were 
always telling stories. Bob was from New 
York, where he had done a lot of work on 
the stage— I think he had even worked with 
Ethel Barrymore. Bob had many strong 
credits behind ^^j him, and George 

always liked Bob. 
On occasion, we saw 
Bob and his wife Betty 
socially. So, Bob was a part 
of the "family," and George took a very 
strong stand when Bob was busted. If 
George hadn't really cared about Bob, he 
wouldn't have said, "Come on, we're going 
to get some action." You wouldn't have 
stuck your neck out like that for anybody 
you didn't care about, particularly during 
that period. Remember, that was a hot time, 
and George didn't hesitate for one 
second— I never saw anybody move so fast. 
Jack wasn't even on the set that morning, he 
doesn't know what happened. In those 
days, George was not enamored of Jack. 
Maybe later on, they became closer friends, 
but I don't know because I was no longer 
there. George always considered Jack a kid. 
When you talk about the Superman 
"family," it wasn't just the cast, it was the 
crew and everybody. My daughter was in a 
cast then because she was born without a 
right hip socket, and the grips would take 
her around on their bicycles and they would 
sit with her in my dressing room; they were 
just great with her. It was this kind of at- 
mosphere. I would see George move things 
for grips— pick up something and carry it 
from one stage or one set to the next. To- 
day, you don't dare touch anything, but in 
those days, we were just one big family and 
we moved like a house afire. George was 
very good, very fast, I was fast, it was fran- 
tic and hectic, but we all liked the pace. And 
that's why we all had a cocktail at 4:00! 
STARLOG: Was Superman that much 
more hectic than most other TV shows? 
COATES: The reason that we did so much 
and did it so well was that we all liked each 
other. I think this was part of the problem 
with Noel Neill. Some of the crew people tell 
me that the reason that Noel grew to dislike 
me was because the directors would say, 
"Oh, do it like Phyllis did it." Hearing that 
constantly would get to be a drag, for 

STARLOG: Do you think that your Lois 
was maybe a little too hard on Clark Kent in 
that first season? 

COATES: That was the way they wanted it, 
but I always felt that, too, that she came 
down a little heavy on him. In fact, I talked 

Having ended the Mole-Men hysteria, 

George Reeves and Phyllis Coates would 

soon be caught in the Red Scare. 

to George and Bob Maxwell about this, and 
I said, "It's almost as if she's really jealous, 
too much so, of him." They said, "Yes, yes, 
but that's what it's supposed to be— to give 
him something to play off of." In other 
words, to really set Clark up as a softie, he 
must have something hard to play against. I 
said, "Gee, what a ballsy broad!" and Max- 
well said, "You got it!" 
STARLOG: Do actors appreciate lightning- 
fast directors like Lee Sholem, Tommy Carr 
and George Blair, or do they feel that 
nothing good can come of something slung 
together so quickly? 

COATES: We were all in the same 
boat— with one oar [laughs]— so it was row 
together or sink! These guys are known as 
action directors, and you had to bring to the 
roles what you could. That's why I say, if it 
hadn't been for Jessica Maxwell on the set, I 
could have gotten some stuff in there for 
Lois! They were not about to re-shoot stuff 
so Jessica stood around with that sharp eye 
of hers and watched us, because I could 
have gotten away with a little bit with Lee, 
Blair and Tommy Carr. They were very easy 
to work with, sweet guys all of them, and I 
don't think an actor can blame them for 
shorting him. 

STARLOG: Your Lois Lane is a feisty and 
aggressive gal. Is that you? 

Coates braved Republic's lake while 

shooting Panther Girl with co-star Myron 

Healey. "We would have to get a shot of 

penicillin so we wouldn't die of some 

disease!" she exclaims. 

COATES: I would like to be more ag- 
gressive — I'm not as aggressive as I might 
appear! Sometimes I am feisty, and I do 
have definite likes and dislikes. 
STARLOG: Did you or Reeves ever try to 
pitch in creatively — suggest changes in 
dialogue or share ideas with directors? 
COATES: Yes, George would, he was 
always contributing, and if there was any 
time, he would get in there and pitch. Time 
was a great factor. 

STARLOG: Why did you leave Superman! 
COATES: There were a number of reasons; 
one of them was that I didn't want to 
become typecast. The minute we stopped 
shooting, I would bleach my hair and do 
other things, but for George, this was it — he 
became typecast, and he was very unhappy 
about that. When I left the series and didn't 
renew my option, they offered me the 
Moon. Whitney Ellsworth offered me about 
four or five times what I was getting if I 
would come back. But I really wanted to get 
out of Superman. 

A few months before he died, George and 

Unable to inject Lois Lane with much humor due to producer vigilance, Coates left 
Superman for a comedy series that never flew. 

Toni came by for brunch, and he told me 
that he had joined the Directors Guild. He 
had a project he was going to do, and he 
wanted to know if I would play the lead. I 
said, "Why, if you've got the project and 
the money, of course." So, he was prepar- 
ing a picture which he really wanted to 
direct. It was a sci-fi— I can't remember the 
name of it, it was so long ago. Then, the 
next thing 1 know Toni Mannix is calling me 
and telling me that George had been 
shot— you know, bullet holes around the 
room and all this other stuff. She wanted me 
to go over to the house with her and I 
couldn't go at the time, and so she got Jack 
Larson to go with her. 
STARLOG: What's your opinion about 
George Reeves' death? 
COATES: I don't think we'll ever know. I 
do know that my friend Bill Cassara, who is 
with the Sheriff's Department here in 
Carmel, told me that he had seen a 
photograph of George Reeves, showing the 
bullet hole. They had examined that photo 
and took into account the angle at which the 
bullet had entered the head, and they 
definitely determined that it was self- 
inflicted. Bill said they studied that photo 
very carefully— he's a Superman buff, 
also— and from the angle the bullet entered 
the head, they could tell thaf he was not 

STARLOG: You once told an interviewer 
that the only TV appearance you're proud 
of is an episode of The Untouchables. Does 
that mean you take no pride whatsoever in 

COATES: Yes, I do take pride in it because 
it was one of the most loving relationships 
that I ever experienced. The closeness with 
George, the crew— God, it was just such a 
great crew, I'll never forget those guys. I do 
take pride in it, and in the fact that we work- 
ed like gangbusters and did it well, and that 
there were never any beefs or arguments 
within our group. I would have the crew 

come in my dressing room and have a drink 
and prop their feet up— nobody drew lines 
in those days, and that was a good feeling. 
I just did a picture here, after being away 
from the cameras for 27 years. Larry 
Buchanan [FANGORIA #41], who has 
Chaparral Productions, did a film on 
Marilyn Monroe called Good Night, Sweet 
Marilyn, and I played her mother, who was 
insane. I walked back in front of the camera 
and did my stuff in one take, after 27 
y ears _the crew couldn't believe I hadn't 
been in front of a camera in that long. So, 
I'm starting up again, and it feels good. 
STARLOG: Early on, before you got mired 
in all those low-budget Westerns and then 
Superman, what sort of niche were you hop- 
ing to fill as an actress? 
COATES: I really felt I could play comedy. 
I had worked vaudeville. I had done some 
shows overseas with the U.S.O., and I 
played "straight man" to stand-up comics, 
and I found that I could play comedy. I did 
a comedy series called This is Alice for 
Desilu, I worked with Bob Cummings and 
Abbott and Costello and so on. In fact, 
another reason why I left Superman was 
because I thought Jack Carson and Allen 
Jenkins were headed for a comedy series, 
and I committed myself to a role in that. I 
also did a pilot with Bert Lahr which never 
got off the ground, even though it was a 
cute idea. So, I wanted to play comedy, and 
I hope still, even at this late date, to get into 
something with some comedic value. 
STARLOG: You don't seem to be someone 
who sits around watching your old pictures. 
COATES: No, as a matter of fact, I really 
have never seen anything! I don't even know 
whether or not, if I had done some great 
things, I would sit down again to see them. 
Once something is done, it's done. I never 
look back because you can always say, 
"God, I could have done that so much bet- 
STARLOG: Your serials for Republic, 

Jungle Drums of Africa and Panther Girl of 
the Kongo— were they a hectic grind, too? 
COATES: Whew! Let me tell you, they 
were tough to make. In Panther Girl, I wore 
a short costume in order to match stock 
footage from some older jungle film, and I 
had to ride an elephant all day. My legs were 
raw from the hair on the elephant— I never 
knew 'til then that an elephant even had 
hair! Then, one of the natives fired a gun 
near my ear, and I was deaf for a couple of 
days. We would go in this terrible lake at 
Republic, this water pond where the 
alligators would be snapping at your ass, 
and the minute we would climb out of this 
awful, stagnant water, we would have to go 
over and get a shot of penicillin so we would 
survive and not die of some disease! I guess 
it was my sense of humor that kept me going 
through the thing. A fellow said to me one 
time, "You were sort of the last-ditch effort 
at a serial queen, weren't you?" and, to be 
honest, I guess I was! I don't mind telling 
you I never read the scripts on those things. 
In fact, I never read the scripts on Super- 
man, if you want to get right down to it. I 
knew the character, it became one- 
dimensional for me and I would just go in 
and wing it with George. When I did 
Westerns, you either played the whore with 
heart, or you played the sweet mother, or 
you played the ingenue. In Westerns, they lit 
the horse and the cowboy, and to hell with 
the leading lady! And it was the same way 
on Superman. 

STARLOG: How did you become mixed up 
with / Was a Teenage Frankenstein! 
COATES: I just went on an interview, I 
guess, and got the job. I don't really 
remember too much about that picture ex- 
cept that the star, Whit Bissell, was very nice 
to work with. I also remember that they had 
live alligators there, and they were throwing 
some bones to 'em— they were supposed to 
be my bones, as a matter of fact [laughs]\ 
STARLOG: Your worst film has to be The 
Incredible Petrified World with Robert 
Clarke [FANGORIA #59]. 
COATES: A friend of mine from my 
teenage days, a fellow by the name of Jerry 
Warren [FANGORIA #45] called me and 
said, "Gypsie, you have to do me a favor. 
I've got to get started in the business, I've 
got this script, Bob Clarke's gonna do it, 
John Carradine's gonna be in it," so on and 
so forth. After I read the script, I said, 
"Jerry, I'll never work again if I do this pic- 
ture!" And he said, "Ipromise you this pic- 
ture will never show on the West Coast. I 
just gotta get started!" I knew Bob Clarke, 
who was a doll of a guy, and so I let Jerry 
talk me into it and I didn't take a salary, I 
did it as a favor. 

STARLOG: You shot that in Colossal 
Cave, New Mexico. 

COATES: What an awful experience! That 
place was full of bat guano— it was hideous\ 
Jerry's father-in-law played the monster, 
and his wife was the production head. 

We did have a lot of laughs over there, 

though; Bob Clarke's wife was trying to get 

pregnant, and I was telling them all about 

(continued on page 57) 

52 STARLOG/ February 1989 

The Adventures of 

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a cliche lead! 
No, it's Curly Neal of the Harlem 
Globetrotters spinning a basketball on 
his index finger! Here on the Orlando, 
Florida location of Superboy: The Series, 
Neal, this episode's big guest star, is one of 
the many early-risers trying to bring some 
luster to the tarnished image of superheroes 
on TV and screen. 

Today marks the first day of filming on 
"The Fixer," the seventh episode of Super- 
boy to go before the cameras. Orlando's im- 
mense Dr. Phillips High School doubles as 
the show's Shuster University (in-joke #1), 
where young Clark Kent (John Haymes 
Newton) crams away at the Siegel School of 
Journalism (in-joke #2). The school's gym 
serves as the focal point of the morning's ac- 
tion, a basketball game attended by the in- 
separable triumvirate of Clark Kent, lovely 
Lana Lang (Stacy Haiduk) and T.J. White 
(James Calvert). And who's that skulking 
up the bleachers? None other than evil prep- 
pies Lex Luthor (Scott Wells) and his hen- 
chman Leo (Michael Manno). 

"Luthor's fixing the basketball game," 
reveals the friendly Scott Wells, "so that he 
can win all the money. I'm not sure if it's for 
the money or the excitement. He's already 
got enough money." Luthor bribes several 
teammates on the Shuster Eagles (including 
Michael Landon Jr.) to participate in a 
point-shaving scheme, a storyline that 
echoes the recent baseball scandal film Eight 
Men Out. Superboy uncovers the plot and 
brings the culprits to justice in a wrap-up 
that hardly taxes his Kryptonian prowess. 

"What we've tried to do with Superboy is 
place less emphasis on Superboy and his 
superpowers, although it's an important 
part of the story," admits director Colin 
Chilvers, Superman: The Movie's FX Oscar 
winner who's helming four episodes of the 
new series. "We're telling the story of a 
young, small town boy who leaves his family 
to live and learn in a large town's university. 
He meets the new challenges of being away 
from home and growing up. Plus, he has 
this deep dark secret, these superpowers that 
he's just learning to use. This is the story of 
a kid, not just, 'Look! Superpowers!' " 

Super veterans 

The Superboy production team boasts 
several holdovers from the motion picture 
saga. Besides Chilvers, there's line producer 
Bob Simmonds, who served as production 
executive on Superman /-III; former Perry 
White Jackie Cooper who agreed to direct a 
few episodes; FX pro Bob Harmon who 
"flew" Superman in the movies and repeats 
that task on the TV series; and executive 
producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind who 
are doing their darnedest to make audiences 
forget the painful memories of their Super- 
man III and Supergirl, not to mention the 
non-Salkind-produced Superman IV: The 
Quest for Peace. However, Chilvers warns 
that Superboy viewers shouldn't expect the 
spectacle of the movies. 

"We have the same flying team from the 
movies, but we're using different techni- 
ques," comments Chilvers while his camera 
crew sets up the day's First shot. "The ef- 
fects aren't elaborate either because we're 
not dealing with a 70-foot screen. We 
tailored our effects to the size of a TV 
screen, and we're doing it better than 
anyone else." 

Likewise, Chilvers, who also helmed the 
TV pilot of War of the Worlds and a seg- 
ment of Michael Jackson's upcoming 
Moonwalker movie, steps up to defend the 
show's incongruous contemporary setting. 
"We're dealing with characters more than 
anything else," he maintains. "There were 
limitations to what we were able to do, given 
the nature of episodic TV and the budget in 
particular. Superboy is set in a nowhere 
time, more than anything else. Hopefully, if 
the series is good enough, people aren't go- 
ing to worry. We're obviously not bringing 
it to anyone's attention." 

Chilvers motions to confer with his direc- 
tor of photography. The Seminole Indians 
and the Shuster Eagles (local extras with 
basketball skills) take their places on the 
court, as rival coaches Curly Neal and 
James (F Troop) Hampton prepare to bark 
instructions to their players. Once the direc- 
tor calls action, the game begins. Separate 
cameras capture the pre-choreographed 
moves, and the event mirrors any high 
school or college game that you've ever 
seen, only this game features the pensive 
Clark Kent sitting amongst the cheering 
fans. Actor John Haymes Newton appears 
kind of bored; perhaps he's not a basketball 
fan or hasn't recovered from the early mor- 
ning wake-up call. He grows more animated 
when it comes to discussing his character. 

"We're consistent with the Superboy of 
the comics," Newton begins, "but we 
haven't developed the nerdy Clark that 
Christopher Reeve did in the films. I'm bas- 
ing my Clark on the comics. After four 

SI A&LOG/ February 1989 53 

Superboy may have had to move to 
Shusterville, but he's kept his Clark Kent 
guise. Producer llya Salkind has even 
promised to sneak him back to his 
Smallville hometown for an episode. 

Perry White, a new eharaeter ereated by the 
show's writers. Superboy's producers 
originally planned on featuring a young 
Jimmy Olsen as Clark's roommate, then 
dropped the idea. "It's a relief," Calvert, 
20, says of not having to live up to the image 
of Jimmy Olsens Jack Larson and Marc 
McClure, "but the trouble is the threesome 

movies of the bumbling Clark, who wants to 
sit and watch that again for four TV 
seasons? It would get boring. 1 approached 
it fresh. This Clark should have a sense of 
humor and insecurity because he really can't 
relax in front of his friends. No nerdy 
facade, though he does develop into that 
when he gets older." 

Unwilling to risk the wrath of angry DC 
Comics fans, the North Carolina-born actor 
boned up on the Boy of Steel after accepting 
the role. "My research paid Off a lot," 
elaborates Newton. "It also helped avoid 
any grievances as far as DC is concerned. 
This way they won't think I'm going off on 
my own tangent. I wanted to make DC and 
the producers happy. 1 had a strong ground- 
work and made sure no one interfered with 
the character's continuity." 

Nerdy or not, Newton can still expect to 
be compared with past Krypton sons, 
especially Christopher Reeve. "It's in- 
evitable that I'll get compared,", says 
Newton of his first major acting role. "Peo- 
ple say I look like a young Christopher 
Reeve, but I don't know what that means. 
I'm a young John Newton." 

54 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 

The 22-year-old Newton responds to each 
query with the utmost seriousness. Plucked 
from relative obscurity and chosen as the 
lead in a nationally syndicated TV show has 
certainly spun his head around, but it re- 
mains firmly on his shoulders. It's 
refreshing, though, when Newton lightens 
up a bit in talking about the flying scenes. 

"Flying is great," Newton exclaims. "It's 
my favorite part of the show. I love to fly! 
One of my favorite books is Jonathan Liv- 
ingston Seagull. 1 re-read it to get a grip on 
Superboy, a sense of what's involved. I've 
always had flying dreams. I would wake up 
feeling energetic and alive. It's exhilarating 
on the show as well." 

"My guts dropped," interjects actress 
Stacy Haiduk (who plays Lana Lang) of her 
first flight with Superboy. The bubbly 
20-year-old tosses her wild red hair back and 
continues, "I wasn't up too high, but high 
enough to feel the sensation. It's a wonder- 
ful feeling." 

Unlike Haiduk and Newton, critics and 
fans cannot compare actor Jim Calvert to 
any prior cinematic counterparts. Calvert 
plays T.J. White, son of Clark's future boss 

•t ft' 


Keeping only the camera, Jim Calvert was 
happy to turn in both Jimmy Olsen's bow 
tie and sunny disposition when that 
character was replaced by T.J. White. 

thing: first Clark, Lois and Jimmy, now 
Clark, Lana and T.J. I'm already being 
associated with Jimmy Olsen, which I didn't 
want to happen. T.J.'s very different from 
Jimmy Olsen. My problem is to 
establish that difference. 

"He's a pessimist and a cynic," Calvert 
continues. "Of the three, T.J. sees the 
downside of things and how they go awry. I 
brought a great deal of humor to him, made 
him lighter. T.J.'s also the show's skirt 
chaser. Jimmy Olsen's a nerd; you won't 
catch T.J. wearing a bow tie." 

Super Villains 

An assistant director summons the 
energetic trio back to the bleachers. The 
next round of lensing focuses on Lex Luthor 
and Leo, Shuster U's top seniors destined to 
graduate with dishonors. On the opposite 
side of the gym, some typically-gorgeous 
cheerleader/actresses practice their craft. In 
the first shot, Luthor bellows, "C'mon, you 
boosters, let's here it for the Moose! Moose! 
Let's go!" 

"I did study Gene Hackman," Scott 
Wells later admits. "Of course, I'm not 
him, and I could never fill his shoes. I hope 
to be as brilliant an actor as Hackman some 
day. I tried to pick up Lex's feelings from 
the inside: his laugh, the evilness. . . " 

As with the Salkind and Cannon Super- 
man movies, the Lex Luthor of Superboy 
mixes camp with villainy, much to the ire of 
comics fans. "In Lex's first episode, I 
played him a little broad," Wells notes, 
"bigger than life and campy. On this one, I 
toned it down. Lex will vary." 

Wells describes his cohort, Leo (Michael 
Manno), as the "hunk of the show." Leo's 
a far cry from the buffoonish Otis (Ned 
Beatty) of the first two Superman movies. 
"People like Lex want to have guys like Otis 
and Leo around them so that they can con- 
trol them," offers Manno, a former model. 
"If Leo was as smart and evil as Lex, he 
would try to take over. Lex must 
have one up on Leo." 

"Lana is almost exactly like me," Stacy 
Haiduk admits. "When she goes after 
something, she doesn't let anything 
stand in her way." 

With the lunch call, cast and crew empty 
the gym to brave 90 degrees of Orlando heat 
and the local "love bug" infestation for a 
half-hour break. The relaxed atmos- 
phere — remember, TV shooting requires 
that six to 10 script pages be in the can by 
the day's end — eases the cast into a more 
frank discussion about the difficulties in 
launching Superboy' s maiden flight. 

"I had a lot of worries about other peo- 
ple's jobs on the show," Newton reveals, 
putting his horn-rimmed glasses in his back 
pocket. "I just stopped worrying and learn- 
ed to trust that they would do their best on 
the show. Now I just worry about myself. 
Things are smoother now that everyone has 
grown to know each other." 

"I've been very happy with the scripts," 
Haiduk counters. "Sure, there has been 
some rewriting, but everything has gone 
well. With each new show, we're under- 
standing our characters more and more." 

Director Colin Chilvers delivers the final 
words. "An episode never works as well as 
you want," he says, "but it works. Each 
Superboy episode that I've done has gotten 
progressively easier. Hopefully, when we go 
into the second season, it's just going to get 
easier still." *fe 

Reading the comics helped John Haymes 
Newton perfect his Superboy persona, but 
watching the movies prompted him to 
develop a different sort of Clark Kent. 

STARLOG/Februarv 1989 55 


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56 STARLOG/Februarv 1989 


(continued from page 48) 

tifiction ever published without exception. I 
have recently changed my opinion, however, 
since Skylark Three has come out." 

Eshbach, through Fantasy Press, had 
Smith round out the series into six books, 
not only with Triplanetary, but with an ex- 
cellent connecting novel, First Lensman 
(1950), to bridge the time period between 
Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol. However, 
note should be made of The Vortex Blaster, 
also published as Masters of the Vortex, an 
offshoot but not part of the Lensmen 

Smith remained an enthusiast, a "true 
fan," until the day he died on August 31, 
1965. He was one of the most popular 
choices for First Fandom's Hall of Fame 
Award, given in 1963 at the 21st World 
Science Fiction Convention in Washington, 
D.C. What he didn't live to know was that 
in 1966, his Lensmen series was one of the 
five nominees for a special Hugo Award as 
"Best AU-Time Series." 

A number of other long and short pieces 
by Smith also exist. And due to Smith's 
popularity, there are several pastiches, too. 

After the British publication and success 
of my historical books, A Pictorial History 
of Science Fiction and The Illustrated Book 
of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams, I was 
approached by Frederik Pohl, SF consultant 
for Bantam Books, to continue the 
Lensmen series. At first, I declined, believ- 
ing the task too overwhelming, with critical 
success unlikely. Nevertheless, with en- 
couragement I couldn't ignore, I undertook 
to tell the stories of the other three Lensmen 
who were Kinnison's friends and who made 
up the quartet of "Second Stage Lensmen." 

I was determined to be true to the 
memory of Doc Smith, who had been my 
personal friend, and to capture the sweep 
and scope and style of his writing. At the 
same time, I had to recognize that my au- 
dience would be more sophisticated with the 
modern standards of SF and that the core of 
my readership would be hypercritical. Also, 
I had to satisfy completely my toughest 
critic, Verna Smith Trestrail, Doc's 
daughter. The first book, The Dragon 
Lensman, published in 1980, focused on 
Worsel; the second, Lensman from Rigelm 
1982 involved Tregonsee; and the third, 
Z-Lensman in 1983 concerned Nadreck. 

Space opera, fathered by Edward Elmer 
Smith, Ph.D., has certain powerful traits. 
They are enthusiasm, optimism and hope 
for the future of mankind out amongst the 
stars. The protagonists are heroes (or 
heroines) with all the old-fashioned virtues, 
and their tales are unabashedly fun. The 
best of humanity are flying deeply beyond 
the farthest frontiers of the future, trying to 
be humane champions of good, under cir- 
cumstances most trying — and also most ex- 
citing. Judgments on "literary merit" and 
"real science" are not of absolute impor- 
tance when you're off on a grand adventure 
in the worlds of Doc Smith. & 


(continued from page 36) 

suddenly peeled off, washed out. And you 
lost the image altogether. In a live 
performance, that wasn't the thing to do. 

So, we had mounds of sawdust in the 
studio. There was one scene near the very 
end where Stanley Baker and Peter Cushing 
were in a cave, conducting some dialogue, 
when a little man appeared at the end of the 
cave in a dustcoat, sweeping up the snow at 
22,000 feet. "Get him off, get him off," the 
director yelled, and somebody pushed him 
out of the way. Rudy asked him what he 
was doing. And he said, "Well, I wanted to 
get home early." 

About that time, we were doing two per- 
formances of each play, so this would have 
been the Sunday night performance. There 
was a Thursday night performance, too, so 
they said, "Don't let him near, block up the 
end of the cave, send him home, give him 
the night off." But he did it again. At the 
same point in the story. You could just see 
him moving on the other side of the large 
packages that blocked the end of the cave. 
STARLOG: In the film's finale, when you 
see the Snowman, is that actually Peter 
Cushing? It has been said that when you see 
the Snowman's eyes, it's really Cushing's. 
KNEALE: No, it wasn't him. It was a good 
Irish actor named Eric Dow. He was heavily 
made up for the part. You'll probably find 
him on the film's cast lists if you ever 
discover one. 

STARLOG: In the first Quatermass, you 
had him encountering an alien who freshly 
arrived; in the next, you have Quatermass 
encountering aliens who had been around a 
year; in the third, you have him encounter- 
ing aliens who arrived five million years ago, 
and in The Quatermass Conclusion, he deals 
with aliens who may very well have been 
around longer than that. 
KNEALE: Yes, you get the pattern. It was 
just so that I didn't repeat myself. Every two 
or three years, I'm writing a story which in- 
volved Quatermass saving the world. He's 
getting monotonous and obvious, and so I 
thought I shouldn't do that. So, the least I 
could do was change the pattern of the 
threat as much as possible; otherwise, he 
would have been on the lookout, too keen 
to find the next one. 

STARLOG: They also become physically 
more remote. Initially, the monster is right 
there in the room with you, and at the last, 
they're possibly on the other side of the 
galaxy, shooting a ray at the Earth. 
KNEALE: Yes, I hoped for an increased 
sophistication in the audience — that they 
might be put off by a plain old monster ap- 
pearing again, and I didn 't want to put off 
my audience. 

Next issue: Nigel Kneale discusses the 
genesis of Quatermass 2, which many feel is 
one of the best science-fiction tele- 
plays— and movies—of the 1950s. He also 
talks about his non-genre movie, Laurence 
Olivier's The Entertainer, and Ray Har- 
ryhausen's First Men in the Moon. ■& 


(continued from page 52) 

Vitamin E. So, they started taking Vitamin 
E like crazy — eating it, drinking it, rubbing 
it on 'em and everything else [laughs] — and 
finally they did have a baby, a gorgeous son 
named Cameron. And it was fun working 
with Carradine, who was a wonderful 
nut — John would get drunk, and carry on 
with Shakespeare [laughs]\ He was dating 
the girl who stood in for me on Superman, 
and one time they were over at my house for 
dinner. 1 finally went to bed, I got up again 
about three in the morning and there he 
was, stark naked, "to be or not to be"-ing 
in my living room! John was marvelously in- 
sane — a brilliant, funny actor. 
STARLOG: And then, of course, the film 
did play in California. 
COATES: Oh, I could have killed Jerry 
[laughs]] He lost me more jobs with that 
film, because it did show out here. That was 
the biggest mistake of my life. 
STARLOG: If you could turn back the 
clock, what would you do differently in 
your career? 

COATES: I wouldn't do The Incredible 
Petrified World, that's for sure [laughs]\ 
But, seriously, I don't know what I could do 
differently: I was in a bind, I had a child 
who had a physical handicap and I had to 
work. My mother was in and out of mental 
institutions, and I had a lot of heavy stuff in 
my life. People in Hollywood remember 
that I had an alcoholic grandmother who 
lived with me for awhile. I was on the set of 
Teenage Frankenstein when I got a call from 
the police, that my grandmother was sprawl- 
ed out on somebody's lawn! I had all this 
crap in my life, trying to handle an alcoholic 
grandmother who would be selling my 
clothes to neighbors to get money for booze, 
and a mother who almost drove me insane 
with her problems! So, there were great 
limitations on me in those days, and I had to 
work. And to try to work and handle this 
and keep it all under wraps was tough. 
Evidently, I had some dues to pay and, 
man, I paid 'em! 

STARLOG: Thanks to Superman, you're a 
cult actress with a large, loyal and loving fan 
following. Is that adequate compensation 
for never having broken into the big time? 
COATES: It sure is. It means a lot. The 
hundreds of letters I get and the requests for 
autographs, it's all very heartwarming. I was 
happy to be in Superman; I was also happy 
to be in This is Alice, although the director 
Sidney Salkow was not very imaginative, he 
was one of those crank-'em-out guys. I 
adored working with Ida Lupino [on The 
Untouchables], she was a charge. And I lov- 
ed working with Larry Buchanan in '87 on 
this Marilyn Monroe film. This guy is an ac- 
tion guy — he's from Hollywood, he has 
made many low-budget films and he's a very 
talented man. He's going to form a stock 
company, and I'll be a part of it. I liked the 
cameo role I did in Good Night, Sweet 
Marilyn. Maybe I'll do things in the future 
that I'm going to like even better. -^* 

STAR\.OC,/Fehruarv 1989 57 

In Knights of God, Gareth Thomas portrayed rebel leader Owen Edwards. 

Careth Thomas 
Blake's Cone 

This British actor demanded his character's 
death— so his career could live on. 


If there is a moment that lives forever, 
not only on the television screen and on 
videotape, but also in the hearts and 
minds of SF-TV fans everywhere, it is this: 
Kerr Avon, self-styled psychopath in stud- 
ded black, and Roj Blake, the battle-scarred 
and aging veteran of the fight against the 
evil Federation, standing face-to-face in a 
climactic moment in which one will be 
murdered by the other. Blake's 7 viewers 

MARGARET A. BAROSKI is a Pennsyl- 
vania-based writer. This is her first article 

58 START OG/ February 1989 

were stunned by the denouement, but the 
victim, Gareth Thomas, the TV show's title 
hero, explains, "It was the only possible way 
it could go. With two protagonists, there are 
limits to how far you can go. One has got to 
win, and that episode seemed to be the right 
time to do it." 

Still alive and well at 43, a slimmer, grey- 
ing, pipe-smoking Thomas notes that 
Blake's 7 is what most people remember him 
for, while citing more recent recognition 
from starring roles in The Citadel and 
Morgan's Boy. "Still," he concedes, "many 
people remember me from Blake's 7. Un- 
fortunately, there's not much / can 

remember about it. It never ceases to amaze 
me that people say, 'Now, when you said so 
and so to Cally. . . ' I think, 'Did I? I don't 
remember that!' I don't mind being asked 
questions over and over, however. If people 
remember it still, it's very flattering." He 
adds wistfully, "It would be nice to be asked 
occasionally about the programs in which I 
probably acted better, but there you go." 

Although Thomas (who previously 
discussed his career in STARLOG #114) 
blames what he calls "television wipe" for 
his faulty memories of Blake's 7, he can be 
prodded into recalling something from the 
show's beginning. "It was the very first bit 
of filming we ever did, and Paul [Darrow] 
and I had just met. We started doing a 
scene, and we were standing, as usual for 
Blake's 7, on the slope of a chalk pit. The 
ground began to give way beneath Paul," 
Thomas chuckles, "and he slid gently out of 
frame, carrying on talking all the while. Of 
course, we cut and did it again." 

That day was the beginning of a long- 
term friendship with Darrow, the man who 
played Avon (STARLOG #116, 128). The 
nasty ending to the Blake/Avon relationship 
notwithstanding, Thomas says, "Paul is one 
of my closest friends. He once said to me, 
'Now listen, Gareth. You're the actor, I'm 
the pretty one.' He is such a lovely, lovely 
man. Oh God, the number of times I got 
one over on Paul Darrow, and he always 
gets his own back! I'll walk into a conven- 
tion, and they want Paul, and I'm just stan- 
ding there, thinking, 'Hang on a sec, who 
has the ego?' But he's a very generous man, 
as a human being and as an actor." 

Blake's Lives 

Thomas admits he got into acting through 
a basic lack of motivation. "I couldn't 
paint," he says, as an example, "so I went 
and tried to act. I didn't want to paint, I 
didn't want to act. I just thought, 'I want to 
carry on being a student, so what do I do? 
I'll try drama school.' And I tried, and I got 
into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. 
At the end of the first term, I was given a 
scholarship, and halfway through the sec- 
ond year, I suddenly thought, 'I like this 
game. As long as I don't go bankrupt, I may 
as well carry on doing it.' ' 

However, Thomas' parents never en- 
couraged him in his choice of vocations. 
"Good Lord, an act-or\" he breathes disap- 
provingly, then laughs. "I was the first one 
in the family, probably the last, too!" 

His first starring role was in Stocker's 
Copper, the story of the Cornish Clay 
Miner's strike of 1913, which won an award 
and which, along with a series called 
Sutherland's Law, launched Thomas' televi- 
sion career, leading to his role as Blake. 
Although Terry Nation (STARLOG #106), 
the show's creator, had a swashbuckling Er- 
rol Flynn-type in mind, he has since 
acknowledged that Thomas brought an 
unusual depth and dimension, an "unfore- 
seen quality" to his portrayal of Blake. 

Thomas' decision to leave Blake's 7 after 
two seasons was based on several reasons. 
"I don't think— and this may be conten- 

Like the minions of the Federation, fans will do anything to get Gareth Thomas to 
reveal all he knows about Blake's 7. 

Although he never intends to contact 
Blake's spirit again, Thomas didn't mind 
donning the robes of Swami Gupta 
Krishna to welcome another Visitor from 
the Grave. 

tious — that the BBC had really worked out 
financially and time-wise how the show 
should have been done. We didn't have 
enough time or money." 

As for the scripts, Thomas explains, "I 
didn't actually ask for script ap- 
proval — come to think of it, that would 
have been nice to have — but I didn't have it, 
and 1 didn't like the way the scripts were go- 
ing. We started off as vicious men; in the 
first series, I actually had to kill a guy, had 
to break somebody's neck. But suddenly, it 

got insipid. 'Oh, look! Here's a big room at 
the end of our spaceship which has loads 
and loads of costumes which all just happen 
to fit us!' " he singsongs. Then, he notes 
seriously, "1 believe I'm right in saying that 
Terry Nation himself has said that he would 
have liked to have exercised more control, 
which he didn't, and he admits it. 

"I had to go. If they hadn't got me under 
the contract they did, 1 would actually have 
| left after 13 episodes. I missed out on a cou- 
£ pie of major shows that I would rather have 
done; one of them was playing Jung in a big 
two-hour movie. Then, too, Blake's 7 was 
going out at the same time [on the BBC] as 
Starsky and Hutch and Paul Michael Glaser 
was directing some of them. I asked if I 
| could direct one or two [episodes of Blake's 
7] and was told, no, that's not the way the 
BBC works, or is allowed to work, or can 
work, etc. End of story," Thomas finishes 
bluntly. Unfortunately for Thomas, Blake's 
unresolved disappearance at the end of 
"Star One" failed to end his association 
with the character and hampered his career, 
prompting Thomas to ask to kill Blake off, 
with no hope of resurrection, at the fourth 
season's end. 

Ironically, just two years ago, Thomas 
portrayed another freedom fighter, Owen 
Edwards, in the BBC science-fiction series, 
Knights of God. His more recent TV proj- 
ects include roles in District Nurse, The Col- 
onel's Lady and Better Days, and lately he 
has found himself working with two of his 
Blake's 7co-stars. "In After the War, I play 
Guy Falcon, an artist, a dissident, not so 
much antisocial as 'anti-social,' " Thomas 
says. "Jan Chappell and I worked together 
in episode five. We didn't actually have a 
scene together; we had a big scene with 

dozens of people around a dinner table. Jan 
was playing the wife of somebody else, and I 
was a mad artist." 

In his most recent project, Chelworth, a 
story about an extremely wealthy man 
whose brother dies, leaving him a 
dilapidated but beautiful stately home, 
Thomas reveals, "I'm now working with 
Stevie Grief [the original Travis of Blake's 
7]. Again, I have no scenes with him, so 
we're not actually at loggerheads." He does 
have a bone to pick with Grief, however. 
His own role as an estate manager in 
Chelworth is "a bit like Morgan's Boy, a 
blunt Yorkshire farmer, with cloth rap and 
green wellies," he says in a broad Yorkshire 
dialect. "But Stevie, how does he do it? 
He's playing a lover! I don't get those roles. 
I get the Yorkshire farmer!" 

A tour in Michael Frayn's Benefactors, 
and an almost year-long tour with the 
English Shakespeare Company understudy- 
ing John Woodvine's Falstaff while playing 
the roles of Lord Chief Justice, Owen Glen- 
dower (for which he had to speak Welsh and 
sing), and Fluellen in the Henry IV and V 
cycle have also kept Thomas busy. He says 
of touring, "If the play is good, it's magic. 
It's extraordinarily tiring, it's exhausting, 
but I enjoy it." Last February saw him tak- 
ing on a major role in a tour of J.B. 
Priestley's Dangerous Corner on just a few 
days' notice. "I read the script on Wednes- 
day afternoon for the first time in my life, 
and on that Saturday, I went on stage. That 
bloody near killed me — you don't do things 
like that, at least not at my age." 

Thomas has no idea what his next job will 
be. In fact, he has no plans for the future, 
explaining, "I enjoy life and always did. I 
live very much for the day and enjoy what 

STAKLOG/February 1989 59 

Back on Earth, David Jackson, Jan Chappell, Paul Darrow, Gareth Thomas, Sally Knyvette and Michael Keating "got on incredibly well.' 

into"), a situation comedy and a musical. A 
musicaP. He laughs. "I would love to do a 
musical. I would love to have a voice like 
Luciano Pavarotti's— I'm glad to say I no 
longer have the belly for Pavarotti. Country 
Dance was one of the very rare occasions in 
my life I had to sing and dance." He 
chuckles wryly. "No comment. But the 
public apparently quite liked it." 

Country Dance also found him playing a 
lover, but although he has played lovers in 
several roles, including Orsino in Twelfth 
Night for the Royal Shakespeare Company 
immediately after Blake's 7, he tends to 
shrug off the idea that he is the "lover" 
type. "I suppose Watercress Girl was a 
lover, but that's about all. With a face like 
mine, you don't get many lovers, especially 
at my age. Let me play a lover! Give me the 
role! Let me find out! But I won't get those 
roles. I'm too old and too ugly." 

He also stripped for the cameras for 
Watercress Girl. "I did feel the script 
demanded it. Although I did appear stark 
naked, it was only,- in fact, a series of 
flashback photographs in a court sequence. 
I wouldn't do it now, unless. . . " He laughs 
heartily. "Well, I don't think I would be 
asked to, I'm too old." 

Known as a "wrinkly" (older actor) in the 
stage companies he works with, Thomas has 
definite ideas about retirement. "I sincerely 
hope I'll never retire. It may be forced upon 
me by the fact that I've got no work, but I 
don't want to. One of the great glories 
about acting is that you don't have a retire- 
(continued on page 72) 

If Thomas had his way, he would have had a little more direct control over the 
missions Avon (Paul Darrow), Blake and Cally (Jan Chappell) undertook. 

I'm doing when I'm doing it," but one of 
his great desires, having understudied 
Donald Sinden's Othello, is someday to play 
Othello himself. "It's a black Dylan 
Thomas," he rhapsodizes. "The language is 
wonderful, and it is, in my opinion, one of 
the ultimate emotional challenges. Hamlet 
I'm too old for, Lear I'm too young for, but 
Othello, for the next 10 years, I have a 
chance." The suggestion that Paul Darrow 
might play lago to Thomas' Othello is re- 
jected straightaway. "Nol" says Thomas 

firmly. "Might I qualify that by saying the 
reason is we would just laugh all the time? 
He's a very fine actor indeed, but I don't 
think we could keep a straight face!" 

Blake's Loves 

Although as a young actor Thomas did a 
beer commercial and a soap powder ad, he 
won't do commercials now. "My agent 
wouldn't let me do them," he says. He 
would like to do more voiceovers ("a nice 
lucrative sideline, but very difficult to break 

60 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 




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When Prowls the 

He came to 
hunt the 
game on 
Earth, bir 


i / 




^=& 7 /. 



We are all familiar with the notion 
of hunting as a sport. Whether or 
not we approve of the practice, it 
is, nonetheless, simple to understand: You 
arm yourself and go out into the wilds in 
pursuit of an animal. The more cunning and 
dangerous the animal, the better the sport. 
Quite simple. . .as long as you're the one 
doing the hunting. All of this brings us to 
Predator and a group of humans trained in 
the arts of war, who found themselves being 

systematically stalked and attacked by a 
creature who saw them not as fellow beings, 
but as trophies to be killed and collected. 

The hunter in question was an intelligent 
life form stronger and more agile than its in- 
tended victims. It was also extremely hostile, 
but only in the sense that a big-game trophy 
hunter is hostile towards its targets. For all 
we knew, the Predator, in its native habitat, 
could have been a rather peaceable sort 
among its own kind. It might have been on 
vacation from a very staid accounting firm 
on its home world (and, in retrospect, there 
are auditors who have the same sort of 
murderous personality). When we look at 
the Predator, we have to assume the 
perspective of the fox before the hunting 
party, or the tiger facing the safari. 

So, what was this creature homing in on 
us through a laser gunsight? 

Its comparatively superior strength and 
agility indicates the possibility that it 
matured on a world possessing a gravita- 
tional field slightly greater than our own. 
The ease with which it moved through the 
trees suggests that the Predator's home 
world may have been highly overgrown with 

lush treelike growth far denser than the 

forests of Earth. With such a higher 

concentration of growth to live 

within, the Predator's species didn't evolve 

out of its ability to move through trees the 

way we did. 

But it's the Predator's visual capabilities 
which give us the most singular feature of its 
native planet. The Predator perceived ob- 
jects in terms of their heat output. The cold- 
er an object was, the harder it became for 
the Predator to spot it. 

The development of such a sense implies 
that the Predator's home planet is darker 
and colder than Earth. Lacking the sort of 
illumination humans take for granted, the 
Predator's race evolved a form of eyesight 
which emphasized the detection of heat as 

opposed to simply reacting to sunlight. A 
hunting species would find this useful as 
prey which possessed a high calorie content, 
and therefore greater nutrition value, would 
produce a stronger heat signal. 

This, by the way, is one reason for the 
Predator's sophisticated helmet. In Earth's 
warmer climate, the Predator needed some 
form of electronic visual enhancement in 
order to differentiate between various ob- 
jects. In its final battle, the Predator was in 
darkness except for the fire which Arnold 
Schwarzenegger had started. Even then, 
with its helmet off, it saw its surroundings in 
a near-uniform red. Without the helmet, at 
high noon, the Predator would have been 
totally blind. 

Coming from a world somewhat colder 
than Earth, the Predator must be especially 
concerned with the control of body heat. 
Humans eliminate waste heat through 
sweat, which, on a colder world, would 
result in ice forming on any perspiring body. 
A much more efficient system would be to 
have some form of radiator pipes similar to 
what's found on an atomic reactor — say, 
for instance, those tentacle-like projections 
on the Predator's head. They possibly work 
to circulate internal fluids and control the 
leakage of needed warmth. Tear off or 
damage any of them and, eventually, the 
Predator would die as his interior organs 
boiled like lobsters at a seafood restaurant. 

Speaking of circulation, the Predator's 
blood may have been green for the same 
reason Vulcan blood is green — an excessive 
amount of a respiratory pigment known as 
hemocyanin, which is a copper-containing 
protein. Its giveaway glow could be at- 
tributed to several factors. The Predator's 
blood could carry phosphorescent 
microorganisms which live in symbiosis with 
the body. Or perhaps the Predators evolved 
a defense mechanism which allowed their 
blood to carry radioactive salts, making 
them poisonous to potential enemies. 

The Predator's helmet provides another 
clue to its background. It was continually 
scanning and recording human voices for 
analysis. Perhaps, in addition to a heat- 
tracking ability, the Predator was also able 
to study voices for stress patterns. Such 
study could have provided the Predator with 
information as to the makeup of a herd of 
"target" animals, selecting which animal led 
the herd, or who was the weakest and, as 
such, the least likely to provide good sport. 
In a world where major information is 
gathered from infra-red radiation, sound 
provides the next best source of data. 

This explains why Schwarzenegger was 
"saved" for last by the Predator. It analyz- 
ed him as being not just the movie's star, but 
the group's natural leader and, as a result, 
the one which would provide the meatier 
challenge. The team's other members were 
useful as warm-up exercises before taking on 

the main event. 

Analysis of vocal stress patterns (along 

What was responsible for the death 
of the dinosaurs? Overhunting by 
Predators possibly. 

66 ST ARLOG/ February 1989 

with the admonition to stay away from 
weapons) also spared Anna's life. By obser- 
ving the soldiers, the Predator quickly 
realized Anna's status within the group and 
realized that keeping her alive would con- 
tinue her usefulness as a method of con- 
stantly keeping the "game herd" in motion 
and slightly off-guard. In this sense, Anna 
was unconsciously acting as a "quail dog" 
for the Predator. 

On the Hunt 

So, if the Predator was a denizen of a 
colder and darker planet, what was it doing 
hunting in the heat and humidity of an 
Earth jungle? 

Simply, the Predator was a sportsman. If 
the game is good, a true sportsman will 
travel to the high Himalayas or deep into the 
wilds of Zaire in search of innocent animals 
to kill. 

Besides, Earth already has a reputation as 
a prime hunting preserve. Anna commented 
how, when the climate of her country 
became very hot, people tended to vanish in 
a manner which suggested that, rather than 
meeting some local danger, they wandered 
into the Predator's gunsights. 

From Anna's comment, it could be con- 
cluded that our world has, for years, provid- 
ed sport for the Predator's race. The star- 
ship which delivered the Predator seemed to 
drop him off as if he was merely a com- 
muter leaving a bus. Could it be a vacation 
cruise ship with scheduled stops, including 
the "Hunting Planet" Earth, guaranteed to 
be stocked with prime game? 

This raises some interesting theories. On 
Earth, we breed animals for specific traits. 
Perhaps the Predators have secretly worked 
to manipulate us, quietly insuring that war 
and international conflict would continue to 
provide their hunting ground with a suffi- 
cient supply of "sport" humans, such as 
soldiers and mercenaries. It would be 
relatively easy for a sophisticated alien race 
to maintain global tension without being on 
the scene directly. An aircraft's guidance 
system could be remotely scrambled, caus- 
ing it to go off-course and overfly hostile 
territory. Surreptitious orbital attack could 
be made on combat fronts, with the assaults 
disguised to resemble enemy artillery bar- 
rages. A few key military satellites could be 
carefully eliminated. Nothing serious 
enough to bring about a wasteful full-scale 
war, but merely sufficient to keep us at each 
other's throats. 

This is why the Predator would hunt in 
jungles and desert wastes. It would want to 
hunt in those areas where the concentration 
of warriors would be the greatest. 

Another reason for jungle combat lies in 
the fact that the breeding of humans has 
been allowed to go unchecked by the 
Predators. Until a century or so ago, the 
Predators were able to hunt in the cooler 
northern regions, moving along the frontiers 
and unconquered territories. But, as 
humanity tamed larger parts of the world, 
the aliens have been forced to move their 
sport to what little wilderness remained. One 
imagines a Predator Wildlife Management 

Bureau discussing the problem and working 
towards producing a solution. 

But who can say how long our planet has 
been visited by Predators? What reduced 
the dinosaurs to fossils? Could the Roanoke 
Colony have ended up as skulls in some 
faraway trophy case? Perhaps some other 
skulls can be found in those displays: 
Amelia Earhart's? Judge Crater's? Jimmy 

In regard to the past, Schwarzenegger 
might not have been the first human to 
come out ahead against a Predator. What 
caused the enormous explosion in Tunguska 
which rocked the Central Siberian wasteland 
in 1908? A cometary fragment? A quantum 
black hole? Or had another Predator been 
defeated and driven to self-destruction? 

Predators, of course, can't afford their 
own remains to be found (since such 
evidence might give the game away to the 
prey). So, they undoubtedly always go on the 
hunt with the understanding that suicide is 
the only option should they be defeated . 

For those wondering how Schwarzeneg- 
ger managed to outrun what appeared to be 
a tactical nuclear blast: Actually, there were 
two explosions. Schwarzenegger was run- 
ning away from the localized explosion that 
finished off the mortally-wounded 
Predator. At the moment of death, a 
destruct mechanism was triggered on board 
the hidden landing vehicle, which was fur- 
ther away, and that produced the 
mushroom cloud which the rescue 
helicopter spotted. It was a small-scale 
nuclear blast as evidenced by the lack of a 

visible shock wave, and by the fact that the 
helicopter could still fly. 

Until recently, a Predator probably en- 
joyed decent hunting armed only with its 
wrist claws. However, as Schwarzenegger 
and team learned, the aliens have realized a 
need to modify their sporting gear. 

So, the Predators equipped their cold 
suits with a camouflage feature which curv- 
ed light around them, producing an in- 
visibility screen. It was most useful when the 
Predator remained still, but, while in mo- 
tion, the curved light would "ripple" across 
the suit, identifying the hunter for those 
who knew what to look for. Besides the 
"ripple" effect, an observer could spot a 
Predator by the glow of the helmet visor as 
it changed viewing modes. The glow would 
appear as twin flashes of light where the 
Predator's eyes would have been. 

Such an invisibility screen would have 
been useless to humans because, with light 
being curved around the suit, a human 
would have been totally blind within such a 
field. To the Predator's infra-red vision, the 
screen provided little interference. 

The Predator's main weapon was a 
shoulder-mounted cannon which fired 
packets of lethal energy. It wasn't too clear 
what sort of energy was in use, but its effects 
on items like tree branches was similar to 
those brought on by lightning strikes. Con- 
( continued on page 72) 

terplanetary Correspondent, lectured 
on Blobology in issue #137. 

CT a n t *"\y~> . 

in the words of 

Writer Bob Dolman reveals 
how the creation 
of a fantasy film world 
began— with a phone 



ob Dolman usually looks before he 
leaps, but the Canadian screenwriter 
couldn't have foreseen what was to 
happen early in 1986 when the phone rang. 

"It was Ron Howard calling," explains 
Dolman. "He said George Lucas had ap- 
proached him about a project that he 
thought I ought to try. I told Ron, 'I don't 
know. What is it?' Ron wasn't real sure but 
he said it was 'like Lord of the Rings.' 

"Now, I've always had the philosophy 
that if 1 don't immediately connect with a 
project, I know I'm going to have a hard 
time writing it. So, I told Ron it didn't 
sound very good and that I would probably 
be the wrong writer. I hung up." 

However, it only took Dolman all of 30 
seconds to realize he ought to have his head 


- y 



The Newlyn necromancer was always 
going on a spectacular journey, but 
Dolman had originally planned on sending 
an older Willow Ufgood on that quest. 
Young Warwick Davis got the role. 

I Photo: Keith Hamshere 

"I called Ron back, and trying to 
be real cool, I said, 'Hey Ron, how 
about if I just meet with George?' " 

Dolman is describing his brush with 
career suicide at a West Los Angeles pro- 
duction office 23 floors skyward. Dolman's 
long hair is in disarray, the result of a post- 
Writer's Guild strike glut that suddenly has 
him immersed in a number of television and 
motion picture projects which, in turn, is the 
result of taking that "meeting with George" 
and ending up writing Willow. 

"It's still a little early to tell what impact 
writing Willow is having on my career," he 
speculates. "I've been getting more calls, 
and I'm being taken more seriously than I 
was before Willow. That's to be expected, 
though, because Willow was my first motion 
picture script." 

Dolman had cut his teeth on televi- 
sion— WKRP in Cincinnati and SCTV be- 
ing his major credits — but had nary a nod- 
ding acquaintance with a full-blown film. 
And so, it was during his first meeting with 
Lucas and Howard, after listening to Lucas 
toss around buzz words like "epic" and 
"fantasy," Dolman made another heartfelt 
attempt at cutting his own throat. 

"I asked George what made him think / 
was the right writer for this film," 
remembers Dolman. "Lucas said that he 
knew all about mounting a big film like Star 
Wars but that, after reading a couple of my 
WKRP scripts, he liked the idea that my 
characters behaved like real people and dealt 
with real problems in a realistic manner. 
Lucas knew Willow was going to be based in 
a totally fantastic environment, but he 
wanted the characters to act like real 

Unlike George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy, 
Dolman notes that Willow, at that point, 
wasn't even at a skeletal outline stage. 

"George had a story," says Dolman, 
"but beyond that, everything had to be in- 
vented. We were dealing with a fantasy 
world so we were basically looking at 

Magic Words 

Turning nothing into something 
necessitated a tremendous amount of 
preparation before Dolman was in a posi- 
tion to even type "FADE IN." This pre- 
planning translated into a number of 
meetings between Dolman, Lucas and 
Howard in Los Angeles and at Lucas' 
Skywalker Ranch in Northern California, 
many of which were conducted in the dark. 

"George had me look at a number of 
movies," says Dolman. "Not so much fan- 
tasy films as adventure and swashbuckling 
movies like Yojimbo and the old Errol 
Flynn films. George even gave me an entire 
reel which contained nothing but the 
greatest battle scenes ever filmed. 

"We were all in agreement that Willow 
should have some kind of reality and that it 
should be in some historical context. The 
setting we came up with during our meetings 
was European and Celtic, somewhere in the 
neighborhood of 500-1000 A.D. I spent 
some time in the Skywalker Ranch library 


Although it has been a while since he was 
under its spell, Bob Dolman is still feeling 
the effects of Willow's magic. 

researching Celtic customs, tradition and 
culture. Willow was going to be historically 
accurate — even down to the wagons the 
villagers used." 

Although he was the hands behind the 
typewriter, Dolman claims those pre- 
scripting meetings were a true collaborative 
effort. "George, Ron and I would just sit 
down and talk about what we wanted." 

Dolman concedes that the "we," despite 
Lucas' willingness to listen to outside ideas, 
often boiled down to what George wanted, 
especially when it came to creating the film's 
main characters. 

"George started out with the character of 
Willow and that was it," the writer reports. 
"One day, he came in with the name Mad- 
martigan. He didn't know what it meant or 
where it came from, but he felt somebody 
with that name would be a great character in 
the film. Madmartigan was a much easier 
character to create than Willow was. With 
Madmartigan, you could play with the 
character, make him funny, heroic and 
everything else. Willow was a bit more com- 
plex and took much more work. 

"I guess I can take full credit for the 
Brownies," says Dolman. "I felt that kind 
of comedy was necessary and George 
agreed. In a sense, I was also responsible for 
the evil queen Bavmorda. George wanted 
the character to be a king, but I said, 'Come 
on, George! He would be too Darth 
Vaderish.' I confess I was secretly trying to 

get more women into the movie 
f and attempting to make it different from 
all the other movies George had done." 

Dolman finally got down to business in 
March 1986. Before he finished, he would 
have a total of seven Willow drafts to set 
m before his king. 

I "But the first three drafts [written be- 

| tween March and fall 1986] were probably 

" the most significant," the writer observes. 

| "With the first draft, it was basically a mat- 

°" ter of saying, 'Just let me go and write 

something.' That script gave us a lot to talk 

about. With the second draft, I just went 

crazy and wrote a big long script. In fact, it 

was so long that I sent a pair of scissors to 

Ron and George with their copies." 

What Dolman had meant as a joke had a 
rather unfunny effect on Lucas and 
Howard. "It scared both of them," he 
relates. "I think they felt both the project 
and the writer were getting a bit out of con- 
trol. But all that changed by the time I hand- 
ed in the third draft. Then, Willow suddenly 
began to look like a movie that could be 
made. The third draft was together enough 
that George and Ron felt confident enough 
to get the production started." 

That, in turn, made Dolman's life on the 
ensuing four drafts much easier. With the 
technical and special FX personnel already 
at work, Dolman was able to consult 
storyboards and creative people about how 
elements of the movie would play and, con- 
sequently, tighten up any loose areas in the 
script. However, all the blue screen experts 
in the world couldn't help Dolman put 
together a believable love story between 
Madmartigan and Sorsha. 

"That was rough," describes Dolman, 
"and the main reason was that Willow's 
storyline didn't leave much time to get peo- 
ple to fall in love. Every time I would turn in 

Coast Correspondent, profiled Bob Short 
in issue #138. 

It was more William Shakespeare's magic words than Brownie mystic dust that let 
Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) fall in love. 



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"I take full credit for the Brownies, 
comedy was necessary." 

confesses Bob Dolman. "I felt that kind of 




a draft of the script, that element would 
always seem contrived and not real. Finally, 
early in 1987, I picked up a copy of A Mid- 
summer Night's Dream, and it hit me. 
Willow is about magic, so why not have 
them fall in love magically?" 

word Play 

Dolman's work, even with the Willow 
script essentially shipshape, was far from 
done. The writer went to England a month 
before filming began to work with the actors. 

"Many of the actors were relatively inex- 
perienced and so changes were made based 
on their ability to handle dialogue and re- 
main comfortably in character. And on a 
film with this kind of scope, there are always 
last-minute changes to be made, so it helps 
to have the writer around to do them." 

It also helped to have another willing 
body around when Willow began to fall 
behind schedule. 

"One day, George was getting ready to 
leave the film site and, just before he got on 
the plane, he turned to me and handed me a 
list of things to shoot. Now, I had never had 
a camera in my hands in my life, but I ended 
up shooting a lot of what would be con- 
sidered fifth unit stuff, things like geese run- 
ning through a village. If this gets out, I may 
have to join another union," he laughs. 

Dolman returned to the States after com- 
pletion of principal photography and made 
himself available for dialogue changes in 
looping sessions. Then, he sat back and 
waited for Willow. 

"It was a pretty literal translation from 
script to screen," remarks Dolman. "Some 
things had to be trimmed because the film 
was running too long, but I basically have 
no complaints." 

However, that's more than can be said 
about the reception that awaited the film's 
theatrical debut. Willow (recently released 
on video) received mixed reviews and, when 
its theatrical run finished, was far from the 
overwhelming box office smash (in relation 
to its cost) that many had predicted. 

"There was some press backlash against 
George which may have had some impact 
on how the film did," Dolman offers. 
"Willow was also up against some pretty big 

summer movies, which also hurt. To be 
perfectly honest, I don't think Willow is a 
masterpiece. It's very good, but it almost 
had to be spectacular to show a profit." 

Dolman, who nurtured his writing ambi- 
tions at the University of Toronto, started 
his career as a freelance journalist for Cana- 
dian newspapers and magazines. A vacation 
trip to Los Angeles in 1979 turned Dolman 
in another direction. 

"A friend of mine was working on 
WKRP in Cincinnati and invited me to sub- 
mit some story outlines. I did and ended up 
with a staff job polishing scripts. It was dur- 
ing my year there that I discovered I had a 
real knack for dramatic writing." 

Dolman returned to Toronto and began a 
three-year stint writing for SCTV. He also 
did TV pilot work. His teaming with Ron 
Howard on an unsold pilot called Little 
Shots cemented that relationship. In fact, 
Dolman and Howard have been col- 
laborating on a historical film with the 
working title of The Irish Story that's near- 
ing the end of its development stage. 

But Dolman, no longer a novice, is quick 
to point out the lessons well learned on his 
maiden voyage into motion pictures. 

"One of the biggest lessons I learned 
from Willow was how to plot and structure 
a movie. From George, I learned a great 
deal about suspense. In television, dialogue 
can carry an episode even if the story isn't 
the greatest, but in film, the story has to be 
good or you've got nothing. I also learned 
movie language. From draft to draft, my 
writing got worse as the script improved. At 
a certain point, literacy goes out the win- 
dow. Cinema is what's important." 

Bob Dolman discovered what happens 
when a writer's stock suddenly plummets. 

"We were in England and still bouncing 
script changes right and left," he recalls. 
"One day, I ran up to Ron and George with 
what I thought was a great idea for a script 
change. They looked like they were listening 
but you could see their eyes had glazed over. 
At that point, I knew they weren't script- 
conscious anymore. But George made sure I 
understood I was now way down the peck- 
ing order when he said, 'The script is done. 
We're going to make the movie now.' " i? 

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(con tinued from page 41) 

own. He expects to return to the mean 
streets of the Holodeck as Dixon Hill, the 
private eye Picard impersonated in "The Big 
Goodbye." "My own personal favorite 
episode as a show is '11001001', but from 
the point-of-view of the actual experience of 
making it, it's 'The Big Goodbye,' " he ex- 
plains, noting that Picard's penchant for 
mysteries wasn't his suggestion. "1 first 
heard of it from [writer/producer] Maurice 
Hurley. It was not my input. The irony was 
that 1 had been a Chandler fan for 30 years. 
In fact, one of the places I went to in 
California when I first came here in 1968 
was La Jolla, where Chandler lived, wrote 
and died. It was a pilgrimage. 

"So, I was already very familiar with the 
genre and the style but what's interesting 
was that I didn't have to concern myself 
with playing the style. I was just Captain 
Picard enjoying himself as Dixon Hill. 
Picard couldn't act out the style the way 
Data so successfully did." 

On the subject of alien races, Stewart an- 
ticipates the return of the Klingon (i.e. 
Worf), the Romulans (of course) and even 
the Ferengi. "I'm a Ferengi fan," he laughs. 
"What's clever about them is that they're 
not just a further development of the Kling- 
ons or the Romulans. They have a certain 
identity. I don't know yet that we've scrat- 
ched the surface of what the Ferengi are 
capable of. There are possibilities still open. 
I love that sense of trade, that moment when 
one of them wants to buy Data. And I se- 
cretly hope that Bokk [Picard's foe from 
"The Battle"] will come back. He's still out 
there somewhere and if he was cross 
before. . . ." 

There's also this matter of the Q. "Picard 
enjoys order and structure and discipline. In 
a sense then, he and 1 have a great deal in 
common. Whenever Q appears, he is 
disruptive. Behind his entire actions against 
Picard, Starfleet and the Enterprise, there is 
a kind of mockery, the suggestion that we 
have everything wrong," Stewart says. 
"Now, if you were passionately involved in 
a way of life and a profession where it has 
been particularly suggested to you that 
everything about it is meaningless, that's 
very undermining. And that's how I inter- 
pret Picard's relationship with Q. 

"I expect to see Q back a third rime. John 
De Lancie is a fine, fine actor. The first time 
we came eyeball to eyeball, it was very much 
like two stage actors approaching each 
other. One of the crew told me that he 
hoped that John would be back soon, be- 
cause, 'John De Lancie is good for you.' 

Talk of the future engages Patrick 
Stewart. "The relationships of the present 
characters on board the Enterprise are going 
to change and grow," he says. "That is our 
incessant subject of conversation off the set. 
That's what we talk about all the time. We 
go out to dinner after working all day on 
Star Trek and what do we do? For three 
hours, we talk. . .about Star Trek." 1& 

(continued from page 67) 

trolled packets of electrostatic energy would 
be devastating enough as a weapon if you 
consider that an average lightning bolt pro- 
duces 3.75 billion kilowatts, as well as 
temperatures of around 27,000 degrees 
Fahrenheit. A suit capable of bending light 
would certainly have no difficulty generating 
enough energy to throw small thunderbolts. 
The cannon was linked to an amazingly 
pedestrian bit of technology: a laser 
targeting system. Since this was a product of 
the Predator's race, however, the lasers were 
designed to produce a heat target, as oppos- 
ed to a strictly visual one. They were also 
useful in heating up claws while con- 
templating fixing a certain Austrian- 
American Earthman's little red wagon. 


Sabre-toothed trophies? Every Predator 
home should have one. 

The helmet also carried two clever func- 
tions. It could play back recorded vocal 
samples, providing the Predator with a 
"duck call." It was also equipped with a 
motion tracker that could scan the path of 
an object, such as a stone thrown by 
Schwarzenegger, and compute the place 
from which it was thrown. 

Not very sportsmanlike, perhaps. But, 
then again, the same could be said for using 
a Minigun as a personal combat weapon 

You couldn't claim that the Predator was 
cheated of decent sport. It probably knew of 
the CIA situation in the jungle (perhaps 
somehow even arranged it) and used the 
native soldiers as bait for larger game — first 
the Green Berets, and then Schwar- 
zenegger's commandos. If it had managed 
to win out in the end, it probably would 
have remained patiently in place while yet a 
third team of sport humans was sent into 

However, the battle turned and it was the 
humans who won, or, at least, the surviving 
members of a sport herd were led off the 
field. It could be argued that the situation 
would change. Schwarzenegger would, after 
all, make his reports and, after that, we 
would be on the alert for future alien 
hunters. We would be on the alert. . .more 
watchful, better trained and combat-ready 
to handle the threat from space. 

But, when it died, the Predator was 
laughing. T>? 

(continued from page 60) 

ment age. I'm working with a man now on 
Chelworth whom I met 20 years ago at the 
Royal Shakespeare Company, Sebastian 
Shaw [who played Anakin Skywalker in 
Return oftheJedi, STARLOG #120]. He's 
now 84 and still going strong. I just hope I 
can do the same thing." 

Recently, Thomas has come under fire 
from fans of Blake's 7 dissatisfied with his 
decision not to attend commercially-run SF 
conventions. He chooses his words careful- 
ly. "This is my own personal opinion, and I 
do not disagree with the other cast members 
for doing commercial conventions, but /will 
not attend them. When the fans watch a 
program on TV, they pay for the license, the 
tapes, the local TV station, in adver- 
tisements. With a commercial convention, 
the fans are paying to see me and a 
businessman is creaming it off. I do not 
believe the fans should have to pay twice. I 
will do an amateur convention occasionally 
when I can because it is my way of saying 
'thank you' to the fans. I don't get paid for 
saying 'thank you.' I don't deserve to get 
paid for saying 'thank you.' " 

Further accused of being elusive by fans 
and press, the man who will sit for hours at 
a fan-run convention and sign autographs 
until he is certain that everyone who wants 
an autograph gets one, adds, "Part of my 
pride is my privacy. I'm an actor, and within 
my profession, I'll give 150%, I'll answer 
questions, I'll give lectures, I'll act, anything 
you like. But whether I have a thousand il- 
legitimate children is immaterial. The most 
important thing to me is my own private in- 
dividuality. I have to retain something, 
otherwise I'll just become a cypher, and I'm 
too intelligent for that." Given his reason- 
ing, it is understandable that Thomas 
declines to comment on his recent divorce 
from Sheelagh Thomas. 

Summing up his thoughts about Blake, 
Thomas says he did enjoy doing the show. 
Of the Blake's 7 cast, he notes, "We got on 
incredibly well. The program could not have 
been made if we didn 't do that. Our work- 
ing relationship was magic, and off-stage, 
we got on terribly well." 

He has always found the fans' attentions 
"extremely flattering, always will be. I've 
not met a baddie yet," he confirms. Never- 
theless, Thomas refuses to reconsider his 
decision about Blake's fate. Although he 
hinted last year at the annual Scorpio con- 
vention that he might come back to Blake's 
7 "if it was a feature film, but not as a 
series," Gareth Thomas still has bad news 
for those who continue to postulate a life 
after death for Blake. "Blake's 7 has pro- 
vided me with a great deal of butter for my 
bread," he says reasonably, "but I have no 
regrets about leaving the way I did; I asked 
to leave that way, to die. I wish the fans 
would stop asking, 'Is it going to come 
back?' It can't come back. You can't bring 
back a show with the 'Grandfather of 
Blake,' can you?" " 

72 STARLOG//-<^/wv 1989 



A trio of special FX-laden adventures 
have flashed into existence on your 
dealer's shelves from RCA/Columbia 
Home Video priced at $89.95 each — all after 
briefly flashing across screens last summer. 
Short Circuit 2 brings back Number 
Five. The free-wheeling robot given the gift 
of life by a stray bolt of lightning is on the 
loose again; this time, he charms street 
criminals and big bad city slickers with his 
transistorized naivete in VHS and Beta HiFi 
Dolby stereo surround sound. The psychic 
adventure, Vibes (STARLOG #134), is 
enhanced by the superb visual effects ar- 
tistry of Richard (Ghostbusters) Edlund; 
Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper scale the 
Andes to find an ancient power source and 
you can join them in VHS and Beta HiFi 
Dolby stereo surround. And finally, The 
Blob oozes its gooey way back into rural 
Americana with this hi-tech remake of pro- 
ducer Jack Harris' '50s classic in VHS and 
Beta HiFi stereo. 

At long last, there's Cherry 2000. The 
futuristic adventure, directed by Steve de 
Jarnatt, has been languishing apparently 
finished on the shelf for more than two 
years (STARLOG #106). Melanie 
(Something Wild) Griffith stars as a tough- 
talking heroine who assists a yuppie type 
(David Andrews) in a strange quest for more 
spare parts for his "fully-functioning, per- 
sonal services" female android, the Cherry 
2000 (Pamela Gidley). Ben (Last Picture 
Show) Johnson and Tim (Trancers) 


All dates are extremely subject to 
change. Movies deemed especially ten- 
tative are denoted by asterisks. Changes are 
reported in Medialog "Updates." 

January: Warlock, Deep Six, Parents, 
Dream Demon, The Horror Show*. 

February: The Fly II, 976-EVIL. 

March: The Adventures of Baron Mun- 
chausen*, Fright Night II, The Rescuers 

Spring: Second Sight, Millennium, 
Spider-Man*, Leviathan*, The Witches, 
The Return of Swamp Thing*, The Wicked 
Stepmother, Martians, Go Home. 

May: Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. 

June: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. 

Summer: The Last of the Ghostbusters* , 
Back to the Future II*, Batman, The Abyss, 
License Revoked, Hey, Honey! I've Shrunk 
the Kids*, The Punisher* , Night breed* . 

October: Friday the 13th, Part VIII*. 

Winter: The Little Mermaid, Strat, Room 
at the End of the Universe. 

Thomerson co-star. Orion Home Video is 
responsible for releasing it on cassette. 

Leonard Nimoy's first directorial effort 
outside the starship Enterprise has arrived 
on Touchstone Home Video. Based on Col- 
ine Serreau's popular French farce, Trois 
Hommes et un Couffin, Three Men and a 
Baby stars Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and 
Steve Guttenberg as a trio of baby-raising 
bachelors. A year ago, the film set an in- 
dustry record for a single day box office take 
of $5.5 million on January 2 before going on 
to gross in excess of $167 million. 
Touchstone promises that cassette's cost will 
remain at $89.95 through 1990 before any 
price cuts are made. Three Men and a Baby 
is a VHS and Beta HiFi digital stereo sur- 
round sound videocassette. 

Laserdisc fans will get a big boost with 
new releases of some classic genre films in 
full widescreen. In the U.S., most 
widescreen films are cropped down to a 
square to fill the standard TV screen; only in 
Japan have the full widescreen versions been 
available on laserdisc. But at last, American 
distributors are catching the widescreen 
fever with newly mastered releases of the 
complete Star Wars Trilogy, 2001: A Space 
Odyssey, North by Northwest, You Only 
Live Twice, Zulu, 1941, Seven Samurai, 
West Side Story, West world, Blow-up and 
The Fourth Man among others. The laser- 
disc format is vastly superior to tape for 
resolving the full widescreen image with the 
added pleasure of crystal clear digital sound. 
Big Top Pee- wee takes center ring at the 
Paramount Home Video circus, $89.95 in 
VHS and Beta HiFi stereo. In contrast to his 
kid-vid Saturday morning series, Paul 
Reubens lets Pee-wee grow up (a little) with 
his first love affair. In this romantic com- 
edy, Pee-wee is a farmer who joins the big 
top when a giant storm dumps a circus on 
his front yard. Nostalgia buffs may 

The Blob will eat you up— on cassette or 
at the local diner. 

recognize the location as the ranch where 
Disney's TV classic Spin and Marty was 

Captain Midnight, which originated on 
radio in the '40s and then aired as a TV 
series from 1952 to 1959, kept millions of 
kids busy drinking gallons of Ovaltine and 
decoding messages with the Secret 
Squadron decoder badge as they followed 
the adventures of a crack team of private 
citizens committed to thrashing spies and 
apprehending crooks. Captain Midnight, his 
goofy sidekick Ichabod Mudd (that's with 
two d's) and faithful science wiz Tut are 
back in two volumes of adventure from 
Rhino Video. Each edition contains two 
complete half-hour episodes from the TV 
series just as they aired (Volume I: "Deadly 
Diamonds" and "The Frozen Man"; 
Volume II: "Mission to Mexico" and 
"Million Dollar Diamond"), commercials 
intact, and includes a free (for a limited time 
only) Secret Squadron patch. Suggested 
retail is a bargain $19.95 per volume in VHS 
only, 60 minutes in black and white. 

— David Hutchison 

Did the filmmakers fix Cherry 20007 Find out on video. 


There have been some ugly rumors going around — like, 
you know, maybe STARLOG PRESS is controlled by 
aliens. After all, we do publish all those wrestling 
magazines — not to mention American Astrology. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that there's absolutely no truth, 
nothing, not one iota of itsy-bitsy true factuality to that report 
at all. That's what they told me to say. 

Furthermore, I should put to rest right now all those bizarre 
rumors about my colleagues, notably Dave Hutchison, Eddie 
Berganza and Dan Dickholtz. No, Hutch does not have a little 
pin in the back of his neck. At least, not that we've noticed 
lately. But then, he hasn't had a haircut in a while. And 
Eddie? Well, it's true that he started acting strangely after he 
spent that week with his wife Cheryl in Santa Mira, but he's 
better now. He hardly ever laughs. Neither does she. As to 
Dan — who insists we call him John-Dan — I admit his diet is 
unusual (battery acid, Twinkies and NeHi Cola), and he does 
live just a forced march away from Grover's Mill, New Jersey. 
But he doesn't seem alien at all. Aliens would be much neater. 

And what about these reports concerning our contributing 
editors Tony Timpone and Peter Orr? Well, I ask you: Could 
the two guys who edit FANGORIA and GOREZONE possibly 
be unearthly monsters? That just isn't logical. 

I'm not quite sure where all these rumors started. 'Course it 
could have been our last three consecutive issues — which 
celebrated funny-looking aliens (#136), alien invasions (#137) 
and those friendly Klingons (#138). I understand these issues 
were extremely well-received by many of our Antarean, 
Ferengi, Cylon, Vulcan and Newcomer readers. In fact, it 
wouldn't surprise me if STARLOG #138 sold out on both 
Kling and Khinzai — and maybe even in Kokomo. 

Then, there was the little matter of all those subliminal 
messages — reported by isolated readers here and there across 
the United States as allegedly existing in print as part of 
STARLOG #137's expose on aliens living among us and deter- 
mining our actions through brainwashing, control of the media 
and subliminal messages (as seen in John Carpenter's documen- 
tary They Live and, I think, on 20/20). Well, //such com- 
mands ("Obey," "Conform," "Subscribe") did actually see 
print somewhere in STARLOG (without our knowledge, of 
course), it's probably only a few copies, a small part of the 
print run. If you have one, it may be a collector's item. 

If such issues really exist, they would be evidence of an alien 
conspiracy of massive proportions. And alien control of the 
media? How does that explain the likes of Love Connection, 
She's the Sheriff and Entertainment Tonight! Think about it. 

Alien coverage continues in STARLOG. For instance, this 
issue, Ed Gross quizzes David Gautreaux, the man who was 
almost a Vulcan (see page 12) in the aborted Star Trek //TV 
series known as 777e Lost Generation. Our interplanetary 
correspondent Michael Wolff 4 no stranger to alien life in his 
analyses of the cosmos, gets a bit familiar with the Predator 
(page 65). And our own Tony Timpone chit-chats with a 
Kryptonian on the set of Superboy (page 53). 

While in Florida, Tony took time out from his schedule of 
horrors to report on that Boy of Steel. And busy Tony is. Or if 
you like straight-on grammar: Tony is busy. He and Peter Orr 

This photographic evidence should definitely end those resident 
alien reports re: STARLOG Editor Dave McDonnell (pictured). 

are planning, preparing and producing the very first anniversary 
issue of GOREZONE. This all-color horror extravaganza goes 
on sale in March. Accept no wimpy substitutes. 

Speaking of film fear, cinema historian Tom Weaver delves 
into the subject in depth in his terrific new book, Interviews 
with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers (McFarland, 
$29.95). Hey, it's hard to put down it's so good— filled to the 
brim with 28 fascinating interviews with important genre actors 
(like John Agar), directors (like lb Melchior and Curt Siod- 
mak) and producers (like Samuel Z. Arkoff and Jack Harris). 
A few of these talks originally appeared in FANGORIA and 
STARLOG, but here they're complete and all in one volume. 
If you're a '50s SF/horror buff, you simply must have this 
book. You can order a copy directly from the publisher ($29.95 
plus $2.75 shipping): McFarland & Co., Box 611, Jefferson. 
NC 28640. It's highly recommended. 

Tom, of course, is a longtime contributor, represented in this 
very issue with the conclusion of his chat with one of TV's 
Lois Lanes, Phyllis Coates. I've got some good news about 
another veteran STARLOG correspondent, Patrick Daniel 
O'Neill. Pat and wife Jill just added a new son to their family, 
welcoming young Timothy John O'Neill circa October 24. He 
joins a somewhat older brother Brian. Our congratulations. 

Originally, years ago, Pat joined the STARLOG PRESS 
staff to work on COMICS SCENE (1981-83), later freelancing 
for us. More recently, we revived that magazine as COMICS 
SCENE QUARTERLY (1987-). It's the apple of my editorial 
eye — so, I'm pleased to announce COMICS SCENE goes bi- 
monthly next month with inside looks at the Batman, Swamp 
Thing and other comics-based movies as well as the same color- 
ful view of upcoming comics and their creators. 

Best of all, reader response has also prompted our publishers 
to offer subscriptions to COMICS SCENE. Yes, indeed, subs 
are now available ($15.99/6 issues). A special thanks goes to all 
of you who wrote in to request subscriptions. You wanted 
them, you got 'em! See the opposite page for more info. 

In the meantime, we'll continue to explore alien ways here in 
the pages of STARLOG. But I do want to emphasize — and we 
have photographic proof — that STARLOG PRESS is not con- 
trolled by aliens. Nobody here is mentally dominated by 
creatures from another planet. At least as far as I know. 

To life immortal. 

—David McDonnell/ Editor (November 1988) 

The future in STARLOG:Jeff Corey reflects on the horrors of blacklisting as he leads a mob against 
Superman and the Mole Men. . .Charles Schneer looks back at his life's work in fantasy, producing the 
magicks of Ray Harryhausen. . .Andre Norton talks of writing Witchworld and the wonders of science- 
fiction literature. . .Harry Harrison reports on the (un)polished career of The Stainless Steel Rat. . .and 
Eric Stoltz discusses insect politics as he becomes The Fly II. 

Look for the discourse in STARLOG #140, on sale Tuesday, February 2, 1989. 

74 STARLOG/fe/w/a/T 1989 



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